We Cannot be Silenced, We Cannot Forget.
While the brutal civil war in Sri Lanka ended over a decade ago, the process of reconciliation and justice for the victims and their families remains elusive. The Sri Lankan government has continually failed to fulfill its international commitments to transitional justice. In September 2020, Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern about the Sri Lankan government’s decisions to renege on past commitments to the Human Rights Council; the introduction of an amendment that could potentially threaten the independence of the National Human Rights Commission; the pardon of an Army sergeant who had been convicted of participating in unlawful killings; and the appointment of senior military officials allegedly involved in war crimes to key civilian roles. Amidst this troubling series of actions, the surveillance and intimidation of victims, their families, human rights defenders, and journalists continues.
In an online event organized by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) to commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared, The Oakland Institute Executive Director Anuradha Mittal spoke on her past experiences doing field research in Sri Lanka, the heart wrenching testimonies she heard from the families of the disappeared, and the urgent need for justice for Tamils in Sri Lanka.