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'15 Years Since Sri Lanka’s Conflict Ended, No Justice for War Crimes'

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Writing in Scroll.In, Meenakshi Ganguly, the Deputy Asia Director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that the "unaddressed legacy of war" has led to Sri Lanka's "abuse, impunity and misgovernance that still blight the country."

Ganguly highlights that although 15 years have passed since the genocide at Mullivaikkal, there has been no justice or accountability for the Tamil community. 

"Successive governments have appointed a series of commissions ostensibly to investigate reported abuses, while in practice blocking investigations and shielding the abusers. The fate of the thousands of 'disappeared' has never been revealed, while the mothers of the disappeared [...] have campaigned continuously to learn the truth – face surveillance, harassment and arrest from the authorities," she wrote. 

"Meanwhile senior figures implicated in atrocities have been promoted. The current defense secretary, retired General Kamal Gunaratne, was one of the top commanders during the final offensive. He is barred from travelling to the United States due to allegations of serious abuses," Ganguly added. 

"In Sri Lanka’s predominantly Tamil north and east, where most of the fighting took place, the highways are still dotted with army camps and checkpoints. The authorities violently suppress protests, and arrest people under draconian anti-terrorist legislation for social media posts or for commemorating Tamil victims of the war."

Ganguly called on the international community to "engage with the office to prosecute cases at home for war crimes committed in Sri Lanka. And they need to support renewal of this critical office in September."

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