The fact that thousands of women have gone before national commissions, committees and courts and appealed to international actors, including the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID), is indicative of the undeniable need to know what happened to loved ones and for justice. Despite numerous promises, no independent investigation into serious human rights violations in recent years has resulted in a successful prosecution and conviction of alleged perpetrators in Sri Lanka, a sign of the culture of impunity pervasive in post war Sri Lanka. We therefore call on the international community to engage and support Sri Lanka strive for truth and justice. A first step in this is to discuss the findings of the OISL findings in March 2015 and for UNHRC to provide a mandate for continuous monitoring of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka via the OHCHR. Another important step that can be sequenced is to support domestic credible processes. We believe these are both fundamental in the search for truth, justice and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. We therefore make the following demands from the Government of Sri Lanka and the international community.
To the Government of Sri Lanka
Constructively engage with the UNHRC and the OISL in terms of the present investigation and for a debate at the forthcoming UNHRC Session.
Initiate a credible domestic process that includes components of truth telling and trials. In light of the short comings of the present framework, initiate immediate legal and policy reform to introduce processes that are independent and impartial and have the necessary resources and expertise to carry out investigations and inquiries.
Introduce a victim and witness protection legislation and mechanism.
Facilitate the pending visits of UN Special Procedures including the UNWGEID
Initiate a comprehensive reparations program that addresses the grievances of affected communities
To the International Community
Table the OISL report and discuss Sri Lanka at the 28th Session of the UNHRC.
Pass a resolution at the 28th Session of the UNHRC which provides the High Commissioner the mandate to monitor progress of domestic initiatives in Sri Lanka and to annually report to the UNHRC.
The OHCHR should provide technical and other support to the Government of Sri Lanka in terms of moving forward with credible domestic processes.
Read the full statement as PDF:Call for Genuine Accountability Initiatives by War Affected Women