| Petition by Sri Lanka Campaign

( February 25, 2014. London, Sri Lanka Guardian) The UN Human Rights Council will meet next week and confer for a month. They must use this opportunity to pass a resolution that will include a commitment to an Independent International investigation in Sri Lanka the form of a Commission of Inquiry. Only this will help to put the country on the path to justice and reconciliation.

Although the long-running civil war ended in May 2009, a lasting peace is not in sight and we remain gravely concerned for the future of Sri Lanka and its people. A fear and sense of injustice persists, not just among minorities and political activists, but among ordinary people desperately trying to rebuild their lives.

Post-conflict processes do take time, but what matters is getting on the right path. Nearly five years after the war ended, the situation appears to be getting worse, not better.

The biggest issue Sri Lanka faces is a systemic lack of respect for the rights of its citizens, particularly - but not exclusively - its minority citizens. This is rooted in a culture of impunity which is in turn rooted in a failure to hold to account those, on both sides, who committed some of the worst atrocities this century.

Only an independent international investigation of these atrocities will end this culture of impunity and give Sri Lanka a chance to climb out of its cycle of violence towards a lasting peace.

This petition is endorsed and supported by UNA-UK


To:
UN Human Rights Council 

We urge the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to use their March 2014 session to pass a resolution that will include a commitment to an Independent International investigation in the form of a Commission of Inquiry. Only this will help to put the country on the path to justice and reconciliation.

Although the long-running civil war ended in May 2009, a lasting peace is not in sight and we remain gravely concerned for the future of Sri Lanka and its people. A fear and sense of injustice persists, not just among minorities and political activists, but among ordinary people desperately trying to rebuild their lives. A number of unresolved issues remain, including ongoing human rights violations, credible war crimes allegations and the lack of progress towards longer-term political reconciliation. Left unaddressed, these issues could lead to renewed conflict.

Post-conflict processes do take time, but what matters is getting on the right path. Nearly five years after the war ended, the situation appears to be getting worse, not better.

The biggest issue Sri Lanka faces is a systemic lack of respect for the rights of its citizens, particularly - but not exclusively - its minority citizens. This is rooted in a culture of impunity which is in turn rooted in a failure to hold to account those, on both sides, who committed some of the worst atrocities this century.

Only an independent international investigation of these atrocities will end this culture of impunity and give Sri Lanka a chance to climb out of its cycle of violence towards a lasting peace. For these reasons, there have been numerous calls over the years for such an investigation: from a renowned panel of experts appointed by UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, from a host of Sri Lankan and international individuals, Non Governmental Organisations, and politicians, and from many thousands of petitioners all over the world.

Sincerely,
[Your name]




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