The international community should stop providing financial and other support to Sri Lankan government mechanisms such as the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and instead refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court, writes J.S. Tissainayagam in International Policy Digest this month.
“Meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in September, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president, reiterated issuing death certificates for the disappeared in Sri Lanka,” said Tissainayagam.
“While it is clear that Rajapakse is trying to pervert justice by doing so, what is outrageous is that the United Nations and the international community are willing to look on while this perversion of justice takes place.”
Tissainayagam goes on to detail how Tamils remained wary of both Sri Lanka’s office of missing persons (OMP) and office for reparations (OFR).
“After a long-drawn-out campaign by the government asking the families of the disappeared to trust the institution, Tamil families asked the OMP to investigate five cases of those who disappeared after surrendering to the military,” he said. “This was to test the OMP’s integrity, but to date, there have been no answers.”
“The UNHRC and the international community that have undertaken to fund transitional justice in Sri Lanka should stop providing financial and other support for a charade like the OMP and the OFR that suspected war criminals like the Rajapaksa brothers are using to evade justice,” he concludes. “Instead, they should help families of the disappeared and other victims of atrocity crimes by referring Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court.”
Read his full piece here.