By Faraz Shauketaly
Amnesty International marked World Humanitarian day on Thursday by renewing a call on the United Nations to hold an independent study into the conduct of the separatist war that went on in Sri Lanka for almost 30 years.
AI also remembered the 17 aid workers who were murdered in Muttur in 2006. According to AI the families of the victims who all appeared to have been shot at close range, in execution style, are still waiting for justice, 4 years after the fateful day.
Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, appointed a Commission of Inquiry but the results were never released. AI says that leaked versions revealed that the blame was pegged squarely on the LTTE. However no arrests have been made and the case has not reached the courts as yet. The same AI communiqué has revealed that Sri Lanka has 5,749 outstanding cases being reviewed by the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.
Separately in Colombo the US-backed Non Violence Peace Force found that two of its foreign employees had their visas terminated. The agency itself has closed down its Human Rights Defenders Protection Programme, leaving Human Rights activists in Sri Lanka with little international support. The programme previously had played a vital role in providing assistance to those at risk.