UN extension to Sri Lanka will be a “road map” for others to commit war crimes

Any extension granted to Sri Lanka to fulfil its undelivered commitments on accountability will serve as an example for other countries to commit war crimes “without any fear”, the diplomatic community was warned.

In an appeal on the eve of the global rights body sessions in Geneva, more than 25 organisations led by Tamil Mothers of the Disappeared, urged foreign missions not to give additional time to Sri Lanka to implement pledges on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in the country.

“We have been waiting for ten years and fully believed that UNHRC process will bring us justice,” said the appeal from the war affected north and the east.

'More time to SL'

The United Kingdom had announced its intention to lead an international request to grant Sri Lanka more time to fulfill commitments on ten year old wartime atrocities.

“Giving any more time to Sri Lanka is a non-starter and will further embolden the Security Forces to continue their abuses against us and cover-up and destroy vital war crimes evidences,” said the appeal.

“This will also serve as a road map for other countries to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity without any fear, fully well knowing that they will escape accountability by following Sri Lanka’s path.”

The organisations from the north and east fear that evidence from Sri Lanka’s largest mass grave in could be tampered, further denying justice.

More than three hundred bodies including those of 28 children have so far being recovered from the Mannar mass grave.

“The Military intelligence was occupying a building close by,” says the appeal.

'High militarisation'

“Even though the war has ended almost ten years ago, still there is very large number of security forces stationed in Tamil areas, raising concerns that these Security forces may tamper and destroy the evidence of war crimes, including that’s found in mass graves. Several mass graves were found since 1990’s, but none was held accountable or evidences preserved by a neutral body.”

The organisations from the north and east urged UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Member States of the UN Human Rights Council:

1)  Not to fall into Sri Lanka’s trap like “Truth and Reconciliation” by giving any more additional time to Sri Lanka. Giving extension of time will embolden Sri Lankan Security Forces stationed in Tamil areas to continue their abuses and destroy vital war crimes evidences. Additionally, giving Additional time will permanently deny justice for Tamils.

2) To refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or to a specially created international criminal tribunal for Sri Lanka.

3) To appoint a UN Special Rapporteur for Sri Lanka, to monitor and report to the Council every six months about the plight of the war affected and other international human rights and humanitarian issues. ☐




Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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