Accessibility links

Breaking News

Activists Reject Sri Lanka's Proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission 

FILE - University students clash with police during a demonstration in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Human Rights Watch says its report issued Monday documents abuses by the Sri Lankan government that undercut its plans for a truth and reconciliation commission.

The report, titled “If We Raise Our Voice They Arrest Us: Sri Lanka’s Proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” is based on more than 80 interviews conducted in Sri Lanka in June with relatives of victims of “enforced disappearance,” other abuse victims, human rights defenders, activists and journalists.

HRW said in a statement that victims and their families, plus human rights defenders are rejecting the government's initiative because “the government has not consulted them and ignores evidence gathered by past commissions” investigating abuses committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war.

Furthermore, the initiative, according to HRW, also exposes victims and their families to security force abuses and traumatization, if they participate.

“Sri Lanka profoundly needs truth and accountability, but a credible process requires the support of victims’ families and an end to government abuses against them and their communities,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW’s deputy Asia director. “This latest commission seems to be aimed at deflecting international pressure over continuing impunity, rather than revealing the fate of the disappeared or bringing those responsible to justice.”