Today 15

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Check against Delivery

15 March 2013

UN Human Rights Council

Twenty-First Session

25 February – 22 March 2013

Item 6

Universal Periodic Review

Sri Lanka

Mr. President,

In Sri Lanka, the persistent failure to hold perpetrators accountable for human rights violations has fostered a persistent culture of impunity, in which arbitrary detention, torture, extra-judicial killings and other serious violations continue to be regularly reported.

Despite several inquiries and repeated pledges, including during the UPR and before this Council, Sri Lanka has failed to take any credible action on accountability.

With us here today is Dr Kasippillai Manoharan, father of Ragihar Monaharan, one of five university students murdered by Sri Lankan security forces on 2 January 2006. The Sri Lankan authorities have failed to deliver justice for his son. In the interim Dr Manoharan and his family were forced to flee Sri Lanka when their lives were threatened because they sought justice for Ragihar’s murder.

In the words of Dr. Manoharan,

“Today, 7 long years have passed since my son’s murder, without any justice or decision from the Sri Lankan courts!

It is not the first time I have heard such promises. A Presidential Commission of Inquiry reported on my son’s murder in 2009, but no results have been made public. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission strongly recommended further investigation and prosecution of the killers. For years, the government of Sri Lanka has promised me that it would take action on my son’s case, but nothing has happened.

That terrible incident on the beach in Trincomalee, on the 2nd January 2006 has marked my family forever.

With all the pain of losing my son Ragihar, I seek your help and that of the Human Rights Council to move the investigation of the murder of these five young men to the international level because I have no hope for justice in Sri Lanka.”

Mr. President,

Amnesty International urges this Council to establish a mechanism devoted to monitoring and reporting on the current human rights situation in Sri Lanka, and to support growing demands for an independent international investigation into allegations of crimes under international law committed in Sri Lanka.

Thank you Mr. President.

AI Index: ASA 37/010/2013