20th January 2021, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The repudiation of Sri Lanka’s commitments to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka by the present government as well as policies and actions intended to reverse even the limited progress made, raise serious concerns about the possibility of obtaining justice for victims of human rights violations.
In this report, CPA examines ten cases emblematic of the failings and inadequacies of the criminal justice system of Sri Lanka. In the majority of these cases, victims and their families have been waiting for justice for over a decade, with slow progress at the investigative and prosecutorial stages. The few cases which were concluded show that justice has eluded the victims, with the accused acquitted and released, such as in the Trinco Five case and the assassination of Joseph Pararajasingham.
CPA reiterates the urgent need for structural and legal reforms recommended in the present report as well as its previous publication on the subject. The emblematic cases highlighted in this report are only a handful among countless cases where progress has been slow and long drawn out. The victims of these violations are losing confidence in ever obtaining justice through the criminal justice system of Sri Lanka, and it is imperative to address their concerns through comprehensive and genuine reforms.