Taking into account the recent history of the conflict, the current risk assessment gives an account on the main sociocultural and political factors that constitute a threat to peace and mass human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. Assessing the risk of atrocities in Sri Lanka, five years after the end of the armed conflict, The Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention, concluded in a report published on Friday, that “the atrocity risk in Sri Lanka remains high”.
After the civil war, many hoped that the government would end institutionalized Impunity for human rights violations and create a political space for dissent, adopting a more democratic style of governance. However, following the 2010 national elections, Sri Lanka witnessed the inauguration of a new political regime that has been described as a hybrid regime. The international community also had high expectations of change at the end of the civil war Unfortunately, hopes for reconciliation have not been met.
The Sri Lankan military and police operate with minimal restraints, which increases the likelihood of these agencies committing gross violations of human rights and going unpunished. The Sri Lankan military also operates with minimal constraints in the northern regions of the country that are inhabited by Tamils, and also where a majority of the conflict took place. The military continues to seize private and public land to build new military bases, establishing itself as a permanent fixture in the region.
The government has refused to investigate war crimes and other atrocities committed by its military forces during the last phase of the civil war. The major indicator of Sri Lankas culture of impunity remains in the under enforcement of international human rights law. Sri Lanka ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1980, which means that the country agreed to integrate the principles it embodies into the domestic code of basic civil and political rights. Sri Lanka also ratified the first Optional Protocol to the ICCPR in 1998.