At the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva this month, the Sri Lankan government has been pushing a great deal of misinformation about the prospects of accountability for historic and ongoing human rights abuses in the country. Frightened by the prospect of international accountability processes, the government has insisted that victim-survivors’ longstanding grievances can be best addressed by a domestic truth-seeking mechanism.
For most victim-survivors and their families, however, these words ring hollow. For decades, successive governments in Sri Lanka have made these commitments to domestic human rights processes; and for decades, these mechanisms have produced almost nothing whatsoever for victims. In this short report, we examine the dismal history of accountability in Sri Lanka, and why victimised communities have no faith in domestic human rights mechanisms.