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Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel calls for evidence gathering mechanism

The Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel (MAP) has called for an independent evidence-gathering mechanism for to be set up by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to collect evidence of international law violations.

In a statement issued earlier this week the MAP, which consists of a panel of prominent legal experts to monitor transitional justice mechanisms in Sri Lanka, said that “looking ahead to the HRC’s 40th Session in March 2019—when the question of Sri Lanka’s compliance is back on the agenda—a fresh approach is needed”.

“Given the [Government of Sri Lanka’s] continued bad faith under President Sirisena’s leadership, the distinct possibility of Mr Rajapaska’s resurgence, and the absolute certainty of the passage of time, the HRC should set up an independent evidence-gathering mechanism for Sri Lanka with a similar mandate to those on Syria and now Myanmar,” it stated.

It went on to state that the MAP will “attempt to engage with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with a view toward salvaging Resolution 30/1 as well as exploring alternative solutions for the victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war”.

“While the HRC should be supportive of any country making genuine efforts to reconcile conflict-affected communities, the evidence has suggested for some time that domestic politics in Sri Lanka will trump international commitments to human rights”.

“Those holding out for the implementation of a credible criminal-justice mechanism under the terms of Resolution 30/1 can expect a very long ‘journey’ indeed.”

See the full statement here.