Sri Lanka: Human Rights Council must act on report

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has officially transmitted the findings of his expert panel’s report to the Human Rights Council. The report, made public in April, finds “credible allegations” of war crimes and crimes against humanity by all sides to the Sri Lankan conflict. Amnesty welcomed the move today, and called on the Council to immediately begin the process of implementing the report's conclusions.

Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director, said:

“For months we have been waiting for the report’s findings to be presented to the Human Rights Council. Now there can be no more excuses for inaction or delays.

 “For the first time an international body acknowledged the extent of human rights abuses committed in the last days of Sri Lanka’s brutal conflict, when at least 10,000 civilians were killed.

“It’s time for the Human Rights Council to act on these findings and hold those responsible for massive atrocities in Sri Lanka to account. The thousands of victims have waited long enough.”

Amnesty International also reminded the Human Rights Council of ongoing human rights abuses the organisation has documented in Sri Lanka since the conflict ended in 2009. These include lack of humanitarian access to displaced communities, lack of consultation with communities in the resettlement process, and threats to media freedoms.

Sri Lankan Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told the Council yesterday that his government’s response to human rights concerns was “second to none” in the post-conflict period.

Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director, said:

“National efforts to date have fallen far short of the mark, and the ongoing culture of impunity in Sri Lanka is shielding those responsible for past and ongoing abuses from being brought to justice.”

Sri Lankan authorities have failed to implement the recommendations of the interim report of its internal inquiry into civil war abuses, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). A report   published by Amnesty International last week exposed how the LLRC is fundamentally flawed.

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