Sri Lanka Seeks Diversion, Not Justice, Over Wartime Abuses

Sri Lanka’s grim record is under scrutiny at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, so the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has announced yet another internal inquiry. Foreign governments should not be swayed by this disingenuous attempt to avert urgently needed international action. There have been at least a dozen domestic commissions of inquiry during the decades of Sri Lanka’s civil war, often created to forestall international pressure on human rights. None has led to prosecutions, or helped families trace missing relatives. Their findings have often gone unpublished, and recommendations never implemented. International observers, UN…

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Government by, for and with the UNHRC or the people?

Last week we wrote that it’s time for the Geneva Circus and that it would come with molehills and mountains. Well, now we have it all in a single document. The report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka is now in the public domain. A dismissing observation frequently used by high school debaters in another era is apt: ‘It reminds one of a Texan bull — a point here, a point here and, yes, a lot of bull between.’ As expected the report waxes eloquent over…

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Why Are Political Blackguards So Often Not Prosecuted?

No ex- president, prime minister, defence secretary or other Cabinet Minister of Sri Lanka has been prosecuted after his side lost an election – or maybe there were just one or two, forgive my ageing memory. Do you recall the blood curdling threats that the 2015 winners issued about crucifying oodles of thieves and gangsters of the previous regime Rajapaksa? Do you remember how the 2019-20 winners swore during the elections that they would prosecute and crucify yahapalana bond-bandits and a nefarious assortment of yahapalana crooks? Nothing happened! Not one rouge who pocketed countless…

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Allegations About a Massive 10 Billion Rupee Sugar Tax Cut Fraud and the Govt’s Failure to Offer an Explanation

The apolitical National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Chairman Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday that the failure on the part of the Government to explain the massive fraud of Rs. 10 billion that had allegedly taken place due to the cut in the sugar tax was a serious blow to the confidence that the people of this country had in the President. Addressing a press conference, Jayasuriya said the Chairman of a Government institution who resigned recently was suspected of being either involved in or aiding such a massive fraud but…

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UNHRC;Proposes Referral to International Criminal Court, Invocation of Universal Jurisdiction for Crimes and Targeted Sanctions Such as Asset Freezes and Travel Bans Against Alleged Human Rights Violators

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has expressed strong criticism of the prevailing human rights situation in Sri Lanka and urged member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council to consider imposing punitive measures on the country including a referral to the International Criminal Court. The UN Human Rights Commissioner has also suggested that member states of the 47 member UN Human Rights Council could actively pursue investigation and prosecution of international crimes committed by all parties in Sri Lanka before their own national courts,…

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