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‘Core Group should lead call for international justice mechanism for Sri Lanka’ - John Fisher

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The Geneva Director of Human Rights Watch urged on the Core Group of countries at the United Nations Human Rights Council to lead the call for an international justice mechanism on Sri Lanka “instead of placing faith in empty government promises”.

In a post published this morning, John Fisher said that “it was particularly disappointing that the UN Core Group on Sri Lanka – including the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, and Montenegro – did not stand by the numerous victims of abuses by calling for renewed Human Rights Council action”.

“In its statement, the Core Group merely “encourage[d] the government of Sri Lanka to continue cooperation and dialogue” – a naïve appeal in the face of the Sri Lankan government’s explicit repudiation of its commitments,” he added.

Fisher went on to state that Sri Lanka’s president Gotabaya Rajapaksa “has repeatedly made clear his government was not going to punish members of the security forces accused of war crimes, and has already stalled pending investigations”.

“International involvement is crucial for any accountability process in Sri Lanka to have credibility and obtain a measure of justice for the victims,” he said. “But under the current administration, victims have no realistic options beyond the Human Rights Council. Instead of placing faith in empty government promises, the Core Group should be leading the call for the council to create an international justice mechanism.”

See the full text of his post here.