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Northern Provincial Council calls for ‘international justice mechanism’ for accountability in Sri Lanka

The Northern Provincial Council has passed a resolution calling for an “international justice mechanism” headed by the United Nations in order accountability and “permanent peace” in Sri Lanka.

The resolution, passed earlier today, notes frustration with the Sri Lankan government stating that it has “not only failed to take meaningful steps towards implementing” a UN resolution on calling for a hybrid accountability mechanism, but that senior government leaders including the president and prime minister “have clearly and categorically proclaimed that they will not fully implement the Resolution”.

“This Council believes that without truth, justice and an equitable political solution, neither reconciliation nor permanent peace is possible in Sri Lanka,” read the resolution. “Therefore this Council calls upon the Member Countries of the UN Human Rights Council to refer the case to an international judicial mechanism headed by the UN”.

The resolution also called for Sri Lanka to ratify the Rome Statue as recommended by the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL). See the full text of the resolution below.

It comes after a report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein last week criticised Sri Lanka, stating the "authorities have not yet demonstrated the capacity or willingness to address impunity for gross violations and abuses of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law". 

The failure to show major progress in emblematic cases strengthens the argument for "the establishment of a specialized court to deal with the most serious crimes committed by State actors in the context of conflict... staffed by specialized personnel and supported by international practitioners" his report added.