|and frustration among all communities in post-war Sri Lanka, and delayed the delivery of justice and redress to those persons most directly affected by the conflict, who are primarily members of the Tamil community of Sri Lanka.
The Expert Panel Report sets out its assessment of the nature and scope of these allegations, based on information it received from various sources. It states that the mechanisms and initiatives taken by the government so far fall short of acceptable norms of accountability, and calls for the establishment of an independent international mechanism.
As Sri Lankans, we face the challenge of developing a comprehensive post-war reconstruction programme that can bring economic and social advancement to the north and east of Sri Lanka at the same time as it brings peace and prosperity to all Sri Lankans. In order to realize the full potential of this endeavour, we must create a transparent and accountable process through which these allegations can be investigated and justice done to the victims and survivors.
Sri Lanka is not the first country in human history to emerge from a protracted internal conflict. There are many lessons to be learned from the examples of South Africa, Liberia and Rwanda. The discourse on transitional justice that has evolved from these, and other, similar experiences, point to ways in which victims and perpetrators could, together, create a political, social and human space for hearing and listening to each other and for building a new and inclusive democratic society.
We appeal to the government and to all political parties to respond to the report in a manner that can enable us to move forward in a spirit of healing and reconciliation. Rhetorical responses that allege international conspiracies and imperialist plots will do little to ensure a credible image for our country in the global arena.
Developing a multi-partisan framework for an independent and credible national mechanism that complies with existing international standards and that has the mandate to monitor the implementation of the Panel’s recommendations, including investigating specific allegations of violations of human rights and humanitarian norms, can break the vicious cycle of silence and impunity that entraps us today. We hope our political leaders will show the maturity and wisdom required to undertake this task.
Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Ms Sunila Abeysekera
Mr Brito Fernando Ms Sherine Xavier
Mr Herman Kumara Mr J C Weliamuna
Mr Sudharshana Gunawardhena Mr. Sampath Pushpakumara
Mr Rukshan Fernando Mr Lala Wijenaike
Dr Nimalka Fernando Mr Chandrapala Kumarage
Mr Jehan Perera Mr K S Rathnavale
Mr Joe William Ms Padmini Weerasooriya
Mr R M B Senanayake Mr Mahinda Hathhaka
Mr S G Punchihewa Mr S Sivagurunathan
Mr Udaya Kalupathirana
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