Amnesty: Flickering Hope

Truth, Justice, Reparations & Guarantees of Non-recurrence

by Amnesty International, London, , Index number: ASA 37/9715/2019

In 2015, Sri Lanka co-sponsored Resolution 30/1 at the UN Human Rights Council to demonstrate the newly elected government’s commitment to break with impunity for a past marked by serious human rights violations. While the Resolution was welcomed both domestically and internationally, three years on, progress has been slow and political will, dimming. A detailed report on Sri Lanka’s implementation of Resolution 30/1 will be submitted to the Human Rights Council, by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in March 2019. This report stands as Amnesty International’s evaluation of the progress on the commitments made by the Government of Sri Lanka in Resolution 30/1.

Amnesty Flickering Hope Jan 2019 ASA3797152019ENGLISH

Table of Contents

1. METHODOLOGY 6
2. INTRODUCTION 7
2.1 CONSULTATIONS AND STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT 8
3. TRUTH 10
3.1 TRUTH, JUSTICE, RECONCILIATION AND NON-RECURRENCE COMMISSION 10
3.2 OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS 10
3.3 PUBLICLY RELEASING PREVIOUS PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION REPORTS 12
4. JUSTICE 13
4.1 JUDICIAL MECHANISM 13
4.2 ATTACKS AGAINST JOURNALISTS, HRDS, MEMBERS OF RELIGIOUS MINORITY GROUPS,
CIVIL SOCIETY AND PLACES OF WORSHIP 14
4.3 ACCOUNTABILITY FOR TORTURE, RAPE, SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE 16
4.4 LTTE VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES 16
5. REPARATIONS 18
5.1 OFFICE FOR REPARATIONS 18
5.2 LAND RELEASE 19
5.3 CERTIFICATES OF ABSENCE 20
6. GUARANTEES OF NON-RECURRENCE 21
6.1 LEGAL REFORMS 21
6.2 SECURITY SECTOR REFORM 21
6.3 WITNESS AND VICTIM PROTECTION 22
6.4 PUBLIC SECURITY ORDINANCE AND THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM ACT 22
6.5 ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES ACT 24
7. CONCLUSIONS

Conclusions
In 2015, the government made clear commitments to the international community to deliver on accountability,
truth, justice and reparations. More than three years later, Amnesty International’s assessment is that while
some progress has been made on some fronts, some of the crucial aspects of each of these issues remain
unaddressed. This is seen in the controversies and objections to the Office on Missing Persons for example,
and the absolute lack of movement on ensuring accountability of the crimes which have been documented by
both domestic mechanisms like the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, and by the United Nations
in successive reports.
With the political instability that October 2018 has thrown Sri Lanka into and the state of the Government
subsequent to the constitutional crisis, the possibility of further delivery of justice, truth, reparation and
guarantees of non-recurrence for seems to be receding fast. The international community must ensure that
the government of Sri Lanka delivers on its obligations under international law including the commitments it
made in Resolution 30/1. Amnesty International is concerned that, without sustained pressure, support and
attention to the issue, the possibility of justice and effective remedies for victims, may be squandered yet again.

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