Why we formed
In the 5 month period between January and May 2009, it is estimated that between 40,000 – 90,000 civilians were killed in northern Sri Lanka. Most of these deaths were by the Sri Lankan Army as it sought to eliminate the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) regardless of civilian causalities.
To date no one has been held to account for these actions, and that lack of accountability has engendered a culture of impunity in Sri Lanka which is leading to a continuation of the cycle of violence and abuse. While the tyrannical Rajapaksa regime surprisingly lost power in 2015, unless the structural route causes of the problems Sri Lanka faces are addressed then real change will not take place in Sri Lanka, and the lives of people in the north and east of the island will continue to be dominated by fear and oppression.
We are a global non-partisan movement that aims to:
- Achieve genuine reconciliation based on accountability for violations of international law
- Build respect for human rights and the rule of law
- Support efforts within Sri Lankan civil society to promote a just and lasting peace
We are not affiliated with any political or ethnic group inside or outside of Sri Lanka, and we exist to fight for the rights of all those living in Sri Lanka. You can see how we are funded by reading our latest accounts, here.
Over the last year we have:
- Helped secure a UN Human Rights Council mandated international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka
- Published a major opinion-forming report featuring allegations of ongoing crimes against humanity in the North of Sri Lanka, and another putting the wishes of victims at the heart of the accountability process
- Commissioned a report using cutting-edge satellite image analysis to challenge the army’s lies about how stolen land in the North is being used
- Helped secure the release of detained human rights activist Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen, and – finally – that of jailed mother of the disappeared Jeyakumary Balendran
- Launched a major campaign around the UK Sexual Violence Conference which forced the British Foreign Secretary to commit to taking action on Sri Lankan asylum seekers
“Your work gives us hope.” – anonymous Sri Lankan war survivor
“In its six-year existence, the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice has brought to light many issues important to Tamils and Muslims who continue to bear the brunt of Sinhala hegemony in post-war Sri Lanka.” – JS Tissanayagam, exiled Sri Lankan Journalist
“I really wish that I were able to make a substantive contribution to the extremely important work being undertaken by the Sri Lanka Campaign.” – Noam Chomsky
“I see the work of the Sri Lanka Campaign and I am very impressed with it.” – Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
“When we hear about the things Sri Lanka Campaign are doing we know we have not been forgotten.” – anonymous Sri Lankan war crime survivor
“We will never forget what you all did for Sri Lanka.” – Brito Fernando, Sri Lankan Human Rights Defender
“Thank you again for all your hard work on this very important issue.” – Desmond Tutu