Sri Lanka

The last phase of the civil war in Sri Lanka between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the State forces in the North and Eastern parts left several thousands dead and injured. Deplorable and grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity were committed by both warring factions, causing civilians innumerable suffering. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights established the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) mandated to investigate allegations of serious violation and abuses of human rights. At the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council civil society organisations in Sri Lanka welcomed the release of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka and the Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL). The report highlighted deep-seated and institutionalized impunity, risking the recurrence of grave violations which have wracked Sri Lanka’s past. As part of his recommendations, the High Commissioner called on the government of Sri Lanka to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as an imperative part of a comprehensive approach to a transitional justice process that incorporates the full range of judicial and non-judicial measures.
Civil society advocacy

In 2005, the Sri Lankan government set up a working group to evaluate ICC ratification. Since then and in the context of the UN processes that have sought to address issues related to governance, human rights, accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, the ICC docket has been advocated for by civil society organizations as an integral component in Sri Lanka’s efforts towards reform of its domestic legislative framework.

The Coalition, together with its partners in Sri Lanka have undertaken media and public petition campaigns to ensure that Sri Lanka’s process towards more responsible governance is underscored by a credible, parallel process of truth-telling, accountability, reparations and institutional reform, based on the principles of international law.