Liberation a non governmental organisation submitting a statement at the 24 Session Agenda item 3 A/HRC/24/NGO/111 welcomes High Commissioner Navi Pillai’s visit to Sri Lanka at the end of August. We remain concerned about the safety and security of the victims and witnesses who came forward to meet her in a highly militarised environment. Liberation calls upon the Sri Lankan government to: grant her access to people who are victims of human rights violations or who are related to victims, to prisons and to the former war zones in the North and the East.
After four years, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects do not approach the level required for a region devastated by war for over 25 years. The government has not shown any signs that it is serious about addressing the needs of the war-affected people: in the four years since 2009, it has yet to carry out a comprehensive needs assessment for the North and East. Instead, it has systematically blocked Non Governmental Organisations and community-based organisations working in the north and east, hampering efforts to collect the data required for project formulation and prioritisation.
In the meantime, the Sri Lankan state continues to persecute of the Tamil people, depriving them of their land and livelihoods in various ways. Senior cabinet ministers openly support Sinhala/Buddhist extremist organisations which whip up racial and religious hatred against non-Sinhala/Buddhist communities.
There is no transparency in public spending in the North and East by the Sri Lankan government. Despite showcasing the re-laying of the A9 highway as an example of the re- development in the North and East, funds allocated to such projects are shrouded in
The Sri Lankan state – although it has now dispersed those it held involuntarily in post-war internment camps – has not allowed many of them to return to their original places of abode.
The Government of Sri Lanka has refused to release the names and whereabouts of those arrested and detained during the last phase of the war. An estimated 18,000 males and females suspected of having had links with LTTE had either surrendered or were arrested during the final days of war.
The Government has not provided a full list of detainees to the ICRC or any other humanitarian agency. These detainees have been denied access to their relatives or legal representation. The missing According to the records of the Sri Lankan Government Agent offices of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts, the population of Vanni was 429,059 in October 2008.According to a UN update from July 2009, the number of people under government control after the war was 282,380.