PEARL is dedicated to achieving accountability for the atrocity crimes, including the genocide, committed against Tamils during the entirety of the conflict in Sri Lanka. However, there is no political will within the Sinhala polity to bring perpetrators to justice and the domestic judiciary is not equipped to deal with atrocity crimes. Our report on the Kumarapuram massacre details the structural limitations on the domestic judiciary’s ability to prosecute atrocity crimes. Sri Lanka’s backtracking on its commitments at the UN Human Rights Council in 2015 to establish a hybrid court further indicates that the country will not provide accountability and justice to Tamils victim-survivors. Our report analyzes this further. The continuing culture of impunity, particularly for Sri Lankan military officials and politicians, remains a major obstacle to resolving the ongoing conflict and preventing the recurrence of gross human rights violations. Accountability is a necessary precursor to true reconciliation and sustainable peace.
The Tamil homeland is one of the most heavily-militarized regions in the world. Sri Lanka has one of the largest militaries in the world relative to population, with the vast majority concentrated in the North-East of the island. PEARL is working in conjunction with the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research to comprehensively map the military occupation of public and private land in the Tamil homeland. We have completed the mapping of the Mullaitivu district and are currently in the process of looking at Kilinochchi, Trincomalee and Batticaloa.
PEARL fully supports the right of the Tamil people to memorialize their dead. We conducted research across the North-East to explore how the Tamil people want to commemorate their losses, as well as the Sri Lankan government’s obstruction of these memorialization efforts. Our report reflects our findings. The history of the Tamil struggle for liberation needs to be preserved, alongside the history of atrocities suffered by the Tamil nation, and this information must be accessible to all. We are currently working with the Archive on the Legacy of Conflict in South Asia to archive material related to the conflict in Sri Lanka.
People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) is 501(c)3 non-profit organization advocating for justice and self-determination for the Tamil people in the North-East of Sri Lanka.
People for Equality and Relief in Lanka
1629 K Street, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006