In an unprecedented statement, a group of eminent persons called for immediate international actions against the Nadasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime. The call by over 20 experts and world leaders noted that ‘Sri Lanka has made its justice institutions unavailable to its own victims.’ They called on Member States of the UN to heed the call by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet in her recent report to work with victims and their representatives to pursue justice through universal or extraterritorial jurisdiction. ‘Existing international avenues for accountability such as the International Criminal Court should be considered, in the face of Sri Lanka’s opposition to ending impunity. We also support the High Commissioner’s suggestion of imposing targeted sanctions against credibly alleged perpetrators of international crimes and strengthened monitoring and reporting by a dedicated Special Rapporteur.’
Among the signatories to the open letter are the Chair of the ‘Elders’ Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and Juan Manuel Santos, the Nobel Peace Prize winning former president of Colombia. The ‘Elders’ is a grouping of eminent leaders, established by former South African President Nelson Mandela. The current Elders comprise former US President Jimmy Carter, South African freedom fighter Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu and Former UN Secretary General Banki-Moon among several others.
All the former UN Human Rights High Commissioners since the Human Rights Council was established in 2006 have signed the open letter. Louise Arbour, Navanethem Pillay and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein have endorsed the report and recommendations of the incumbent High Commissioner. Prominent among the other signatories are Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (2012-2016), Charles Petrie, former United Nations Assistant Secretary General, Head, Secretary General’s Internal Review Panel on United Nation’s Actions in Sri Lanka (2012) and Marzuki Darusman, Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka (2010-2011).
The full Statement is found here