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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
A culture of impunity has developed says ICJ...
The Center for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, which is a chapter of the International Commission of Jurists, called on 9 September 1998 for the prosecution of human rights violators in Sri Lanka. The Geneva-based Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers promotes the need for an independent judiciary and supports judges and lawyers who are harassed or persecuted.
The Centre said that people responsible for thousands of killings by the Sri Lanka armed forces have escaped punishment. The jurists, whose 186-page report (after a visit to Sri Lanka) was entitled ``Judicial Independence in Sri Lanka,'' were Lord William Goodhart Q.C. of Britain, P.N. Bhagwati, a former chief justice of India, and Phineas Mojapelo, a member of the Judicial Service Commission and Law Commission of South Africa. The Report said:
"Between 1983 and the present day the security forces in Sri Lanka (including the armed forces, the police, and local militia units armed by the Government) have been responsible for thousands of murders and disappearances, the vast majority of the latter involving deliberate killings... a great many murders and disappearances have ... occurred in the course of the struggle against the LTTE. After a welcome decline in 1994 and 1995, there was a significant recurrence in 1996....
The fact is that not a single member of the security forces had at the date of the Mission, been convicted of murder. Changes in procedure to cut the number of killings are not enough. We draw attention the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which requires States to bring to justice all persons presumed responsible for forced disappearances. A culture of impunity has developed, with perpetrators of grave violations being convicted of minor offences or in most cases, not at all...."