Sri Lanka


    UN countries must press Sri Lanka on justice, say NGOs
    15.11.17
    Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo.Net

    International jurists of the Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel (MAP)  say Sri Lanka’s government has made no credible progress on its transitional justice commitments, and are urging the international community to get tough. This comes as Human Rights Watch also called Wednesday for countries at the UN Human Rights Council to press Sri Lanka on time-bound reforms ensuring justice for serious crimes committed during the civil war that ended in 2009. The war, which pitted majority Buddhist Sinhalese of the south against minority Hindu Tamils of the north and east, left at least...

    Read more

    Can Memorialisation Generate Public Demand for Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka?
    09.05.17
    Gehan Gunatilleke

    Sri Lanka’s three-decade civil war in the North and East of the country, along with an insurrection in the South, witnessed the death and disappearance of thousands. Despite these egregious events, the Sri Lankan state has failed to provide public spaces for memorialisation. In this context, transitional justice practitioners in Sri Lanka have advocated for state-sponsored promotion of memorialisation. Scholars and victims are, however, divided on the issue.  This article offers an alternative perspective on the importance of ‘victim-centred’ memorialisation in Sri Lanka. It argues that...

    Read more

    Sri Lanka’s victims demand justice, while government plays for time
    03.03.17
    Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo.net

    Sri Lanka’s government this week asked the UN Human Rights Council for more time to fulfil its promises under a 2015 Resolution on justice for civil war victims. The international community welcomed the surprise election of President Maithripala Sirisena in early 2015 and his promises of justice and reconciliation, but a new report from international jurists of the Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel (MAP) says the government has done little and is acting in bad faith. The civil war, pitting majority Buddhist Sinhalese of the south against minority Hindu Tamils of the north and...

    Read more

    Sri Lanka Court Needs International Judges For Credibility, Say Experts
    02.07.16
    Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo

    In October, the new Sri Lankan government of President Maithripala Sirisena co-sponsored a UN Human Rights Council Resolution calling for a wide range of transitional justice mechanisms after 26 years of armed conflict with the Tamil Tigers. These include a war crimes court with participation of international judges, prosecutors and lawyers. But the government now seems to be backtracking. At the end of June, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said he “remains convinced that international participation in the accountability mechanisms would be a necessary guarantee...

    Read more
     

    Sri Lanka war crimes in the spotlight as UN rights chief visits

    YANGON, 9 February 2016 (IRIN) - Sri Lanka's president is unlikely to cave in any time soon to pressure for international participation in a war crimes tribunal, as the United Nations rights chief urged today. But he could turn the situation to his advantage by offering up less controversial reforms to win back domestic political support and satisfy the international community. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein spoke at the end of a four-day visit to Sri Lanka, where he travelled to check on the government’s progress on implementing recommendations in his report...

    Read more

    Will Sri Lanka’s New Government Provide Accountability for Civil War Atrocities?

    Six years after the end of Sri Lanka’s devastating civil war, a transitional justice process is finally beginning. The consensus adoption this month of a UN Human Rights Council resolution on accountability, cosponsored by Sri Lanka itself, signals a shift in the country’s attitude towards its past and its relationship with the international community. But although the resolution contains five pages of details, it is not entirely clear what, exactly, Sri Lanka has committed itself to. A battle over the interpretation of the text is underway. Did the government skillfully deflect the threat...

    Read more

    DEALING WITH THE PAST WILL TAKE TIME IN SRI LANKA, SAYS ANALYST
    23.09.15
    Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo.Net

    Sri Lanka’s new unity government is promising accountability for war crimes, although it has stopped short of accepting an international inquiry. President Maithripala Sirisena, who replaced his hawkish predecessor Mahinda Rajapakse in January, has also promised to make reconciliation a priority. Sri Lanka, a former British colony, is still scarred by 25 years of violence and conflict arising from tensions between the majority, mostly Buddhist Sinhalese and the minority, mostly Hindu Tamils in the northeast of the country. The civil war ended in May 2009 when government forces under...

    Read more

    SRI LANKA POLLS COULD BE “CRUCIAL” FOR RECONCILIATION

    Sri Lanka goes to the polls on Monday August 17 in parliamentary elections. According to a recent International Crisis Group Report, the outcome could be crucial for the fight against corruption and for reconciliation in a country still recovering from 25 years of violent conflict. “Sri Lanka’s chance to finally start on the road to a sustainable resolution of the country’s decades-long ethnic strife, including a negotiated political settlement, depends on the outcome (of the elections),” says the ICG report. Sri Lanka, a former British colony, is still scarred by 25 years of violence and...

    Read more