New Government in Sri Lanka is urged to advance institutional reforms and accountability


New Government in Sri Lanka is urged to advance institutional reforms and accountability

Source: AUN News

The nation is experiencing a terrible economic crisis, negatively influencing everyone’s access to human rights.

According to the study, which recommends having a national discussion to advance human rights and reconciliation, this has spurred demands for more extensive reforms and accountability, providing the authorities with a new chance to lead a new course forward.

Need for fundamental adjustments

However, for changes to be long-lasting, it will be crucial to identify and treat the underlying causes of the problem. These include pervasive corruption, economic crimes, and the continuation of impunity for past and present violations of human rights.

It was said in the study that “fundamental adjustments will be necessary to handle the current issues and to prevent a repetition of the human rights violations of the past.”

The Government is asked to take quick action and stop relying on harsh security measures, crackdowns on peaceful protesters, and the trend toward militarization.

Officials should reaffirm their commitment to and performance regarding reforming the security sector and putting an end to impunity.

Government’s strict stance

While the security forces have recently responded to large-scale protests with considerable restraint, the report noted that the Government had adopted a more aggressive stance by detaining some student leaders under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and violently suppressing peaceful demonstrations.

In addition, the north and east of the country continue to have highly militarised environments and a culture of monitoring.

The UN human rights office called for the resumption of “a comprehensive and victim-centred policy on transitional justice and accountability” and urged the incoming government to do so.

Victims play a crucial role

The approach should include a time-bound plan to carry out unfulfilled obligations, such as moving forward with creating an ad hoc special court and a reliable system for pursuing the truth.

Victims must also be given a key position in planning and executing all accountability and transitional justice processes.

The report also said that little had been done to ascertain the facts of the Easter Sunday bombings of 2019, which resulted in the deaths of over 200 people in a series of blasts at hotels and churches.

The human rights office demanded a follow-up investigation that was impartial, transparent, and included both the victims and their advocates fully.

Call on other nations

According to the report, the Sri Lankan State has consistently failed to pursue an effective transitional justice process to hold perpetrators of egregious human rights violations and abuses accountable and uphold victims’ rights to the truth, justice, and reparations. This failure has occurred under various governments.

In contrast, they have intentionally elevated and assimilated military personnel credibly implicated in alleged war crimes into the highest levels of government.

The report urged other nations to cooperate in accountability efforts, including by utilising available extraterritorial and universal jurisdiction avenues, to investigate and prosecute crimes under international law committed in Sri Lanka without progress toward accountability at the national level.

Additionally, nations should consider taking additional legal action against those who are allegedly guilty of grave transgressions and abuses of international human rights law or significant violations of international humanitarian law.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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