Civil society organizations in Argentina and the region with a long history of fighting for memory, truth and justice, have called on the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to adopt a resolution on Sri Lanka.
In a joint statement, the civil society organizations said that Sri Lanka went through a long civil war between 1983 and 2009, which left thousands of enforced disappearances.
“In 2015, the authorities of this country committed themselves to the UN to end impunity and establish a mechanism to investigate these and other serious violations. However, the new Government reversed this commitment, is regressing in the limited progress made, and the human rights situation continues to deteriorate in the country,” the statement said.
They noted that it is important that a new resolution adopted by the HRC establish, inter alia, the periodic reporting on the human rights situation as well as the collection, analysis and preservation of evidence for future trials and the establishment of an international accountability mechanism.
“Twelve years after the end of the armed conflict, the victims remain justiceless, and Sri Lankan citizens have no guarantee that these serious violations will not happen again in the future,” the joint statement said.
The Argentine civil society organizations noted that the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in the country, including attacks on organizations, human rights defenders and the media, is also alarming. In addition, military involvement in civilian authority activities is advancing.
“We urge all States present at the HRC, and in particular those that have conquered important transitional justice processes, to foster and support a strong approach to addressing this human rights crisis in Sri Lanka. To do the opposite would be to send a very dangerous message that even a state accused of the most serious crimes under international law can escape the significant scrutiny of the HRC,” the joint statement said.
The joint statement was signed by Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, Amnesty International Argentina, Association of Relatives of Missing Detainees (ASFADDES) – Colombia, Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS), Relatives of Missing and Detained for Political Reasons, Relatives and Companions of the 12 of the Holy Cross, Never Mais Torture Group – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Mothers of Plaza de Mayo Founding Line. (Colombo Gazette)