The International Truth and Justice Project headed by transitional justice expert Yasmin Sooka, who was also a member of the UN panel of experts on Sri Lanka after the war, says it is ready to share information it has on alleged human rights abuses with Sri Lanka.
In an emailed statement, the International Truth and Justice Project said that it is incumbent on the Government to investigate the human rights allegations immediately.
The International Truth and Justice Project was reacting to a story which appeared in the Colombo Gazette, where it was reported that the Government had raised concerns over the report released by the International Truth and Justice Project on human rights violations which had taken place in Sri Lanka even in 2015.
Government sources had said that it would be helpful if groups like the International Truth and Justice Project focuses on working with the Government to share details and evidence of alleged incidents related to human rights abuses.
“The Government of Sri Lanka has sufficient information to begin investigating numerous reports of abduction, torture and sexual violence by its security forces should it so wish. Indeed it is incumbent on the Government to investigate immediately. A Sri Lankan government spokesman reportedly said they cannot investigate the violations detailed in our latest publication, A Still Unfinished War: Survivors of Torture and Sexual Violence 2009- 2015, because we have not shared information regarding specific incidents of abuse. The ITJP looks forward to collaborating with the Government of Sri Lanka when it has established a credible independent mechanism that is trusted by the victims to address the long standing international crimes and violations that have been committed against its own citizens and includes witness protection,” the International Truth and Justice Project said.
Government sources had said that it is important to handle such sensitive issues carefully in a manner than does not hamper reconciliation and in a manner that addresses the concerns of victims on all sides with focus on, as President Maithripala Sirisena has already said, healing and uniting hearts and minds – reconciliation and development. (Colombo Gazette)