Human Rights Watch has called on Germany to push for a strong and effective resolution on Sri Lanka during this UN Human Rights Council session, noting their concern that a concession resolution would be an “illusion”.
Wenzel Michalski, HRW’s German Director, noted that it would require “senior government officials who are implicated in war crimes [to] condemned and hold themselves accountable for their own actions”. He further described the German ambassador in Colombo’s recent statements calling for a consensus resolution as “astonishing and disconcerting”.
Michalski’s statement highlights the atrocities the Rajapaksa administration oversaw during the conflict which includes the repeated, and indiscriminate shelling of civilians; summary execution of captured; murder and disappearance of government critics and suspected LTTE supporters. He further highlighted that these abuses “continued even after the fighting ended”.
In his statement, he also raised concerns over the deteriorating human rights conditions in Sri Lanka noting that instead of reconciliation, “the government is promoting extremist Sinhala Buddhist nationalism that discriminates against minority groups”. He further highlights that “Tamil communities in the north and east fear increasing instances of arbitrary and abusive treatment by security forces” and that there has been an “alarming rise in discrimination against Muslims”.
HRW’s statement also noted the pardoning of convicted war criminal Sunil Ratnayake, who killed 8 Tamil civilians including children, and the passage of the 20th amendment which centralised power within the presidency.
The statement concludes, maintaining that “it is crucial for Germany to step up once more to take the meaningful action that is urgently required”.
Read the full statement here.