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The international community must speak up on impunity on Sri Lanka - SLC

The Sri Lankan Campaign said it was “deeply concerning” that the international community has a “growing timidity around the issue of impunity” on the island.

In a blog post on Friday, the group said that if left unchecked, impunity “is a trend which could fatally undermine the already slender prospects for meaningful action on the issue over the next 12 months – the timeframe for implementation currently envisaged by Resolution 30/1, after which scrutiny via the Human Rights Council will come to an end unless a further Resolution is adopted by its members”.

“As the Sri Lanka Campaign recently argued, this timeframe represents a narrowing window of opportunity for holding the perpetrators of serious crimes accountable,” it continued.

In particular the group highlighted the lack of statements around the issue from countries that played a role in bringing about a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council.

“The international community’s growing unwillingness to speak up on ending impunity risks narrowing it still further – by reducing the costs of the government’s failure to take incremental steps towards the establishment a credible justice mechanism, and by emboldening those war crimes apologists currently seeking to thwart this process.”

“Into the vacuum of silence on accountability afforded by the international community, anti-accountability voices and positions have continued to gain ground. The recent statement by the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister to the Human Rights Council – the first time that a government of Sri Lanka delegation has expressly communicated to the forum its opposition to international participation in an accountability mechanism – represents the latest high water-mark in this spiralling dynamic.”

“There is only one end-point to such a dynamic: impunity; impunity that leads to further mass violence, further atrocity crimes, and further human lives destroyed. If we are silent about the former, then we can all expect to hear much more about the latter in the coming months and years – again and again and again.”

See the full post here.