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Sri Lanka must uphold human rights and address impunity says ICJ

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) have called on newly elected President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government to uphold human rights and address impunity on the island.

Commenting on the allegations of war cimes faced by Gotabaya, Frederick Rawski, ICJ Asia Pacific Director, said:

“The election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, after a highly polarizing campaign, has alarmed human rights defenders in Sri Lanka and abroad, who have little reason to believe that someone facing such serious allegations of perpetrating human rights violations can be relied upon to meet the country’s obligations under international law.”

The statement highlighted that Gotabaya stands 'accused of ordering the killing of surrendering LTTE fighters, ordering strikes on civilians and hospitals, and authorizing attacks on human rights defenders.' It went on to add that 'despite commitments from the Sri Lankan government, the transitional justice process has effectively stalled and impunity has prevailed.'

“The ICJ is deeply concerned that even the limited strides made over the past five years in Sri Lanka on transitional justice, positive constitutional amendments and institutional reform will be reversed,” Rawski added.

Read the ICJ's full statement here.