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Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel urges independent evidence gathering mechanism

International lawyers from the Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel called for an independent evidence gathering mechanism in the country, in an op-ed published in Justiceinfo.com 

"Steps should include setting up an independent evidence-gathering mechanism related to atrocities for Sri Lanka with a similar mandate to those on Syria and Myanmar to investigate international crimes; and urging prosecutors in third states to pursue cases against Sri Lankan war criminals under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction," co-authors and lawyers Andrew Ianuzzi, Richard Rogers and Heather Ryan wrote. 

"Rajapaksa’s reemergence threatens other critical aspects of Sri Lanka’s progress from conflict to a functional democracy. These include an opening space for freedom of expression and civil society activity, allowing greater press freedom, withdrawing the military from Tamil-majority areas in the north and the east, and controlling security service abuses."

"The probability of authoritarianism and abuse of power posed by Rajapaksa’s appointment should be a wake up call to the international community. Having failed to prevent mass atrocities when Rajapaksa was last in power, the international community must be prepared to take decisive action."

The Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel was established by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) in 2015 to monitor the implementation of UNHRC Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1, “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.

Read full op-ed here

The op-ed echoes the Panel's statement last month. 

Read more here