Sri Lanka’s Accountability Crisis: Part 1 of 3

This is the first of a 3-part series of essays and reports which the Sri Lanka Campaign will be publishing in the coming weeks, ahead of the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Right’s statement on accountability in Sri Lanka in September-October 2022.

More than a decade after the bloody ending of the civil war in Sri Lanka, some of those in power have called for the country’s different communities to move on from past atrocities and reconcile. In January, the President – himself accused of mass atrocity crimes – called on citizens to unite and “set aside…dark memories” of the war.

Far from moving on, victims of the island’s repeated cycles of violence continue to fight for truth and justice. But years after many of these crimes were committed, why is accountability still important?

Whilst Sri Lanka’s current economic disaster might seem quite separate from the crisis of accountability, the two issues are in fact intimately linked. For there to be a proper, long-term resolution to Sri Lanka’s economic problems, there must be accountability in Sri Lanka. This accountability must address simultaneously economic mismanagement and serious human rights violations. 

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