Justice Denied: A Reality Check on Resettlement, Demilitarization, and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Inter-Faith Women’s Group in solidarity protest with Pilavu residents, February 2017. © Tamil Guardian

Justice Denied exposes the many issues that continue to plague land release and resettlement in the country, and the failure of the Sri Lankan government to fulfill its international commitments to transitional justice. The Sri Lankan military continues to occupy large quantities of land; land released by the government is often of poor quality, hindering the ability of many to rebuild their livelihoods; there is a vast and unmet need for housing and infrastructure for those displaced during the civil war; and ever-changing timelines for resettlement have bred mistrust in the government. Although the war ended in 2009, the country’s military budget has more than doubled since then, raising serious doubt about the government’s intent to demilitarize the North and East.

Resettlement and Transitional Justice Eluded

The report also examines the actions of the Sri Lankan government over the past 16 months to fulfill its commitments to transitional justice made under UNHRC Resolution 30/1. The Resolution was an attempt to initiate a process that would bring justice for war crimes – including numerous alleged cases of rape, torture, kidnapping, and the mass killing of civilians, prisoners, and relief workers – that have gone unpunished and unaddressed by the justice system. It also addressed the issue of the tens of thousands of civilians who remain unaccounted for or missing years after the end of the war.

Justice Denied is the Oakland Institute’s fourth report examining land issues and human rights abuses in post-war Sri Lanka. To read the Institute’s previous reports on Sri Lanka, please visit: https://www.oaklandinstitute.org/country/sri-lanka

Image: Inter-Faith Women’s Group in solidarity protest with Pilavu residents, February 2017. © Tamil Guardian
Justice Denied: Resettlement, Demilitarization, and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka