Making Human Rights Violations Visible: The UN Commission of Inquiry on Sri Lanka

Justice in Conflict

Thamil Ananthavinayagan joins JiC for this guest post on the UN Commission of Inquiry of Sri Lanka’s soon-to-be released report and the challenges in achieving justice and accountability. Thamil is PhD researcher at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUi Galway and where his work focuses on the UN Human Rights Council.

A soldier carries a small child during the Sri Lankan civil war (Photo: Reuters) A soldier carries a small child during the Sri Lankan civil war (Photo: Reuters)

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
– George Santayana

In the concluding phases of their thirty-year civil war, Sri Lankan security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) repeatedly committed mass atrocities. Although both sides had committed atrocities throughout the conflict, the scale and nature of violations radically worsened in the final five months that led up to the government’s declaration of victory in May 2009, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians and the displacement of…

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