The Campaign for Peace & Justice in Sri Lanka has been founded by individuals concerned with fundamental humanitarian and human rights issues. It is totally independent of all parties and groupings inside and outside Sri Lanka. Specifically, this Campaign has no ethnic, religious or regional affiliations – its concern is the well-being of all Sri Lankans.
The Campaign is supported by a Council of Advisors who are influential/expert figures from all walks of life and all regions of the world who support the seven demands of the Campaign. Aside from public commitment to these demands, members of this Council promote the Campaign through media advocacy, private lobbying, fundraising and peer recruitment to make this Campaign grow.
The Campaign has a Steering Committee, from amongst the Council, who make all decisions. Steering Committee members are identified by an asterisk. The Committee speaks together regularly and makes decisions by consensus, taking on board the advice of other Council members.
Our immediate priority is to help save the lives and end the suffering of nearly 300,000 civilians currently held in crowded and insanitary camps where conditions are rapidly worsening as the monsoon floods get under way. Beyond that, we support the right of all Sri Lankans, irrespective of race or religion, to voice their opinions peacefully and without fear of assault or murder. We seek a full investigation of crimes committed by all parties during and since the recent conflict. And, without favouring any particular political or constitutional formula, we urge the government and all other parties in Sri Lanka to lose no time in working together for a peaceful political solution of the problems and grievances that have given rise to so much violence in the past.
This Campaign is staffed by volunteers who come from many different countries and ethnic groups – none are paid.
- 280,000 innocent civilians who have survived a long and very bloody war are now imprisoned in detainment camps in northern Sri Lanka by their Government.
- These victims of war are being treated as prisoners and suffer from lack of water, sanitation and medical treatment, widespread disease and separation from loved ones.
- The monsoon season is now starting. At least one camp has already been flooded, and if they are not soon allowed to leave the camps thousands more detainees will die from epidemics of cholera and typhoid simply because they are being detained illegally in inhumane conditions.
- The Sri Lankan Government has severely restricted ICRC, UN and international NGOs' involvement, prolonging the misery and raising grave concerns about what is happening out of sight.
- Wartime policies continue with severe restrictions on the press and systematic use of extra-judicial murder and torture. Pro-government paramilitary groups have free run of the camps.
- The Government is now reportedly engaged in an ethnic 're-balancing' - moving Sinhalese and others into the region, while giving political control to Tamil war-lords it has selected.
But this is not just about Sri Lanka Today
- Sri Lanka - a conflict which has seen over 100,000 deaths over the last 25 years, with 20,000 civilians reportedly killed in the last days of this latest war - has been dismissed as too complicated and not important enough by foreign governments and the UN. The approval of a large IMF loan to Sri Lanka is evidence of just how little the international community cares.
- If this approach is allowed to continue, we are setting an awful precedent and forgetting everything that was said after Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.
- The Sri Lankan 'peace through war' model is already being promoted in Burma, Pakistan, and elsewhere.
- Having won the war, the Government's support for the illegal use of force and violence is now sowing the seeds of the next stage of this conflict.
If all the people who read this choose to act & send this email, it WILL make a big difference. Many in power have effectively abandoned the people in these camps - please don't abandon them too.
We are all human beings. Join hands to help this barbaric situation to end soon…………..