Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) called on members of the international community to exercise universal jurisdiction “to hold perpetrators of atrocity crimes in Sri Lanka accountable,” in a statement delivered at the UN Human Rights Council today.
Delivering the statement, Canadian lawyer and research director at the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research, Dharsha Jegatheeswaran echoed the findings of a recent UN report that there has been “virtually no progress towards investigating or prosecuting atrocity crimes in Sri Lanka”.
“Instead, the Sri Lankan government rejects any form of hybrid court and permits public stoking of Sinhala nationalist fears of international accountability processes,” she added.
Noting that “significant international involvement” was needed, Jegatheeswaran also added, “Sri Lanka’s domestic legal system is plagued with systemic obstacles to justice, including the politicization of the Attorney General’s department, a judiciary that is deferential to the military, and lack of protections for witnesses”.
Sri Lanka has also failed on “basic confidence-building measures with Tamil victims to address truth and accountability,” she added, highlighting the protests of the families of the disappeared across the North-East.
Jegatheeswaran concluded her statement by saying,
“LRWC reiterates the High Commissioner’s recommendations and emphasizes the need for Member States to exercise universal jurisdiction to hold perpetrators of atrocity crimes in Sri Lanka accountable. Only accountability and justice can end the culture of impunity in Sri Lanka that has led to recurrent conflict over the last 70 years.”
See the full text of her address here.
We need your support
Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.
Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view
We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.
For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.