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Sri Lanka: Civil society demands no delay in accountability

Date : 2016.11.03

Today civil society activists and organisations, including IMADR Asia Committee, sent a joint letter in expressing deeps concerns on the Government of Sri Lanka’s plans to indefinitely delay the establishment of the proposed accountability mechanism. Read the letter below or download here in English, Tamil and Shinhala. pdficon_small.


03rd November, 2016

Dear Mr. Tittawella,

We wish to register our deep concern with regard to the government’s plans to indefinitely delay the establishment of the proposed accountability mechanism, by sequencing the mechanisms in a way that establishes the accountability mechanism after having established all the other mechanisms.

This sequencing approach has most recently been expressed in a document circulated by the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) titled “Open Dialogue with Civil Society: SCRM Takeaways, 20th September 2016” pdficon_small. The document states that the “Truth Commission (to) be established and functioning by the end of the 3rd quarter of 2017”, but that “Special Courts (would) be established after that”. We note that the special courts is the only mechanism in respect of which there is no definite timeline.

We reiterate that a truth-telling mechanism that is not accompanied by legislation to establish an accountability mechanism will not be acceptable or credible. Instead, it will heighten a sense of impunity and alienate victims and civil society from the process. Victims and civil society have struggled long and hard for justice, and will not be satisfied with yet another commission. We believe justice is long overdue, and steps to combat impunity must be undertaken immediately. We also reiterate the importance of full implementation of HRC Resolution 30/1 including the participation of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers in the judicial mechanism.

We urge that you reconsider the government’s approach to sequencing as it is not in line with the expectations of the victims, and does not instill confidence in the government’s intentions.


1. Ainslie Joseph – Convenor/Chief Animator, Christian Alliance for Social Action (CASA)
2. Ameer Faaiz – Attorney-at-law
3. B. Gowthaman
4. Bhavani Fonseka – Attorney-at-law
5. Bishop Kumara Illangasinghe
6. Chandrika De Silva – Freelance Writer
7. Deanne Uyangoda
8. Deshamanya Godfrey Yogarajah
9. Dr. Isabelle Lassée
10. Dr. Jayantha Seneviratne
11. Dr. Malathi de Alwis
12. Dr. Muzzammil Cader
13. Dulan de Silva
14. Emil van der Poorten – A defender of human and civic rights
15. F. Nandana Saparamadu
16. G.A. Prabath Kumara – Uva Peoples Forum
17. Gayathri Gamage
18. Hemalatha A. – Women’s Action Network (WAN) Desk, Jaffna
19. Ian Ferdinands
20. Ishan Jalill
21. Ithayarani S. – Women Rights Activist
22. Jake Oorloff
23. Jansila Majeed
24. Jayadeva Uyangoda
25. Kalani Subasinghe
26. Krishna Velupillai
27. Luwie Ganeshathasan
28. Mario Arulthas
29. Marisa de Silva
30. Melisha Yapa
31. Mujeebur Rahman P.M. – Journalist
32. Nicola S.
33. Nimalka Fernando
34. Niran Anketell
35. P. Selvaratnam
36. Philip Setunga 37. Prema Gamage
38. Prof. Harendra de Silva
39. Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole
40. R. Guruparan
41. Rajany Rajeswary – Feminist, Jaffna
42. Rajany Rifadh – Activist
43. Rev. Fr. Elil Rajendram
44. Rev. Fr. J.C. Paul Rohan
45. Rev. Fr. Jeyabalan Croos
46. Rev. Fr. M. V. E. Ravichandran – Director, Youth Commission, Diocese of Jaffna
47. Rev. Fr. Nandana Manatunga
48. Rev. Fr. Rohan Dominic
49. Rev. Fr. Saman Perera
50. Rev. Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda
51. Rev. Jason Selvaraja – Assembly of God, Chavakachcheri
52. Rev. Sr. Nichola SCJM
53. Rev. Sr. Noel Christine Fernando
54. S. Ariharan – Former Student Union President, University of Jaffna
55. S.M. Sachithanandan
56. Sampath Samarakoon
57. Selvaraja Rajasegar
58. Shamini V. – Vallamai, Jaffna
59. Shehan de Alwis
60. Shenali De Silva
61. Shreen Saroor
62. Sudarshana Gunawardana – Attorney-at-law
63. Sumi Kerison – Women’s Rights Activist
64. Suren D. Perera
65. Tanuja Thurairajah
66. Thiruni Kelegama
67. Thyagi Ruwanpathirana
68. Vasanthagowry – Vallamai, Jaffna

69. Action Against Apathy
70. Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)
71. International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) Asia Committee
72. People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL)
73. Rights Now Collective for Democracy
74. SAMADANA/M – Non Violent People Movement
75. South Asia Centre for Legal Studies (SACLS)
76. Women’s Action Network (WAN)

1. Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister.
2. Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
3. Hon. R. Sampanthan, Opposition Leader.
4. Manouri Muttetuwegama, Chairperson, Consultation Task Force (CTF).
5. Pablo de Greiff, UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence.
6. Eduardo Gonzalez, Consultant, Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM)
7. Louis Gentile, Consultant, Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM)
8. Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad, High Commissioner, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). 9. Una McCauley, Resident Coordinator, United Nations, Sri Lanka.

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