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‘No progress towards justice’

Human Rights Watch has stated that Sri Lanka has made “no progress” towards accountability and justice for war crimes committed during the civil war, and that the government has “ deepened repression of basic freedoms”, in its World Report 2012.

The New York-based NGO went on to note that the government has “continued to stall on accountability for abuses by the security forces” with Asia director Brad Adams, commenting,

“In 2011, accountability remained a dead issue, the media faced increasing censorship, and the long-standing grievances which led to the conflict were not seriously addressed.”

The abuses by government forces detailed in the UN Panel of Experts report are strangely missing in the LLRC’s findings.

“Even the LLRC’s useful recommendations seem destined to join those of other Sri Lankan commissions that got filed away and ignored.”

The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was further criticised in the report as,

deeply flawed, does not meet international standards for such commissions, and has failed to systematically inquire into alleged abuses.”

Speaking on the North-East of the island and the Tamil population, Human Rights Watch also noted,

“Security in the region remained poor, with alarming incidents reported of gender-based violence and enforced prostitution.

“The heavy military presence in the north and east was a continuing source of distrust among the largely Tamil population.”

Whilst the government has claimed that great progress has been made in terms of reconciliation, Adams said,

“The government has barely made an effort to address the grievances of the Tamil population."

"Instead of the government facilitating greater dialogue, Tamil political representatives are subject to threats and harassment.”

See the World 2012 report in full here.

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