Australian Lawyers for Human Rights call on Australian Gov't, CHOGM to take action

30 September 2011

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights call on the Australian government and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth to do all reasonably within their power to convince the government of Sri Lanka to set up an independent, impartial, well-resourced and effective body to investigate allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed by both sides in the Sri Lankan civil war which concluded in May 2009.

A number of bodies including the International Crisis Group; Amnesty International and the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts have found the need for such a body to investigate what the Panel referred to as "credible allegations".

So far, the government of Sri Lanka seems to have done everything it can to avoid an investigation of the kind that it is needed.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government should consider what steps are available to them to encourage the government of Sri Lanka to carry out their responsibility in this matter.


Stephen Keim SC

Barrister-at-Law

President, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights