Diaspora Groups Call for Singapore to Investigate ex-President

by People for Equity & Relief in Lanka, July 26, 2022

20220726 Joint Press_Release_Request_to_Investigate_Gotabaya_Rajapaksa

Press Release: Global Coalition of Tamil and Human Rights Groups Urge
Singapore’s Attorney General to Investigate Gotabaya Rajapaksa

cropped-pearl-logo-2013-2.png - People for Equality and Relief in LankaWashington D.C.; July 26, 2022 — Seventeen Tamil and human rights organizations from
around the world issued a joint letter today, urging Singapore’s Attorney-General’s Chambers
(AGC) to investigate and, as appropriate, prosecute Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his alleged role in
international crimes committed in Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s former president and
defense secretary, fled to Singapore after being ousted in Sri Lanka and is reportedly in
Singapore on a Short Term Visit Pass.

The letter was signed by: People for Equality in Relief in Lanka (PEARL), Adayaalam Centre for
Policy Research (ACPR), Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ), Center for Justice
and Accountability (CJA), Centre de Protections des Droits du Peuple Tamoul, Federation of
Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA), Global Rights Compliance (GRC), Human Rights
Watch (HRW), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), International Human Rights Clinic –
Harvard Law School, REDRESS, Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, Tamil Americans
United PAC, Tamil Rights Group (TRG), Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE),
United States Tamil Action Group (USTAG), and World Thamil Organisation (WTO).

“Rajapaksa stands credibly accused of committing the world’s most heinous crimes, including
war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Singapore should not serve as a safe
haven for individuals implicated in such abuses,” said Archana Ravichandradeva, Executive
Director of PEARL. “Now that Rajapaksa is no longer shielded by immunity, Singapore must
seize this remarkable opportunity to provide justice and accountability for victims and
victim-survivors of Rajapaksa’s crimes.”

While Rajapaksa was Sri Lanka’s defense secretary, he oversaw Sri Lanka’s brutal military
campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). An estimated 70,000 to 169,796
people were killed in the final phase of the war. Rajapaksa personally stands accused of
ordering the execution of LTTE leaders and their family members upon surrender; directing the
widespread and systematic bombing of hospitals; and repeatedly asserting that civilian persons
and objects were legitimate targets. The joint letter urges AGC to investigate Rajapaksa’s
potential liability for these international crimes on the basis of customary international law and
applicable domestic law. This letter builds upon the criminal complaint filed with AGC by the
International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) against Rajapaksa.

The full letter is available here. 20220726 Request-to-Investigate-Gotabaya FINAL
For more PEARL reporting on Sri Lanka, please visit: https://pearlaction.org/.
For more information, please contact:
Archana Ravichandradeva

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