국제앰네스티는 스리랑카 내전 종전 1주년을 맞이해 스리랑카정부와 타밀반군(LTTE)이 저지른 대규모 인권 침해를 독립적으로 조사토록 유엔에 촉구했다.
종전 후 갈 곳을 잃은 수만명의 스리랑카인들은 국제사회의 행동부재로 인해 배상 받기 어려운 상황이다. 국제 앰네스티 마드후 말호트라(Madhu Malhotra) 아시아태평양 부국장은 “유엔은 스리랑카 내전에 관한 정보를 공개하지 않았고, 인권침해 사례들의 심각성을 인정하지 않았으며, 책임을 요구하지 않았다”며 “전쟁이 끝나면서 시민들과 적군을 상대로 일어난 여러 잔혹행위는 국제법 위반에 대한 국제적인 대응이 없었기 때문”이라고 전했다.
지난 12개월간 스리랑카 정부는 내전 중 인권침해 관련 수사나 피해자들에 대한 배상은 차치하고 반대세력을 단속하는 데 급급했다.
말호트라 부국장은 “수천 명이 목숨을 잃었다고 하지만, 독립적인 감시 활동이 허용되지 않고 인권침해사례의 자세한 내막을 숨기려는 스리랑카 정부의 행동을 봤을 때 실제 희생자 수는 수만 명을 훨씬 넘을 수 있다”고 전했다.
UN must investigateSri Lanka rightsviolations
17 May 2010
The United Nationsmust set up anindependentinvestigation intomassive human rightsviolations committedby both governmentand LiberationTigers of TamilEelam forces duringthe country’s civilwar, AmnestyInternational saidon the firstanniversary of theend of the conflict.
The failure to acthas left victims ofhuman rightsviolations with noaccess to justice,truth or reparationswhile hundreds ofthousands of SriLankans displaced atthe end ofdecades-longconflict languish incamps or struggle torebuild theirshatteredcommunities.
“The UN neverrevealed what itknew about the finaldays of theconflict,acknowledged thescale of the abusethat took place, orpushed foraccountability,”said Madhu Malhotra,AmnestyInternational’sDeputy Director forthe Asia-Pacific.
“At the end of thewar, atrocitiesagainst civiliansand enemy combatantsappeared to befueled by a sensethat there would beno realinternationalconsequences forviolating the law.”
Last week, ClaudioCordone, AmnestyInternational’sinterim SecretaryGeneral, met UNSecretary GeneralBan Ki-Moon, todiscussaccountability forhuman rightsviolations committedduring the civil warin Sri Lanka andother issues. Instead ofinvestigating andprosecuting thosesuspected ofviolations duringthe war andprovidingreparations tovictims, in the past12 months the SriLankan governmenthas jailed criticsand clamped down ondissent.
“Many thousands ofcivilians died.However, attempts bythe government tocover up the fullextent of theviolations byprohibitingindependentmonitoring meansthat the numbers ofdeaths may even bein the tens ofthousands,” saidMadhu Malhotra.
One year on, thesituation forcivilian communitiescaught up in theconflict shows nosign of improving:
* Some 80,000people remain incamps and funds fortheir support arerunning out. * The rest ofthe 300,000displaced civilianswho have tried toresettle remainvulnerable andstruggle to survivein communities wherehomes andinfrastructure weredestroyed. * Thousands ofpeople detained forsuspected links tothe LTTE remain indetention withoutaccess to thecourts. * The governmentcontinues to extendthe state ofemergency,restricting manybasic human rightsand freedom ofspeech. * No meaningfulaction has beentaken to investigatereports of warcrimes.
Sri Lanka has notratified the RomeStatute of theInternationalCriminal Court,meaning the Courtcannot act againstthose accused ofrights violationswithout a referralfrom the UnitedNations SecurityCouncil (UNSC).
Instead, the UNSChas failed to evenpublicly discussimpunity in SriLanka while theUnited Nations HumanRights Council wentas far as adopting aresolution welcomingthe Sri Lankangovernment’s effortsat the end of theconflict withoutmentioning the needfor justice andreparations. Part of the reasonfor the lack ofaction has been thestrong opposition tointernationalintervention byallies of the SriLankan governmentincluding China,India and members ofthe Non-AlignedMovement. On this firstanniversary of theend of the conflict,AmnestyInternational isfocusing worldwideattention on thecontinuing impunityin Sri Lanka anddemanding justicefor victims and thefamilies of thosekilled, with membersaround the worldholding events todayand in the comingweeks.
For decades, SriLankan governmentforces and theirarmed politicalaffiliates haveviolated humanrights withimpunity, engagingin extrajudicialkillings, enforceddisappearances andtorturing Tamilssuspected of linksto the LTTE. The LTTE alsolaunchedindiscriminatesuicide attacks oncivilian targetslike buses andrailway stations,assassinatedpoliticians andcritics, andforcibly recruitedchildren asfighters.
Violations of humanrights andhumanitarian lawpeaked in the finalmonths of conflict,when some 300,000displaced civilianswere trapped betweenthe warring parties. As its forces weredepleted byfighting, the LTTEintensifiedconscription ofchild soldiers. Itused civilians ashuman shieldsagainst the SriLankan army’soffensive, and shotpeople who tried toescape. The Sri Lankangovernment declareda “No Fire Zone”,and directedcivilians there,only for artilleryfire to later hitthese areas. Manythousands of peoplewere killed.
Hospitals wereshelled, resultingin death andinjuries amongpatients and staff.Survivors weredetained in thegovernment’s massivemilitary-rundisplacement campswhere they arrivedwounded, hungry, andill.