Demand Punishment for Those Responsible for Sri Lanka Massacres

Galle fort and surroundings

Target: Government of Sri Lanka

Goal: Investigate and hold accountable those responsible for massacres of 17 aid workers in Sri Lanka

Six years ago, a group of aid workers were brutally executed in Sri Lanka. Despite compelling evidence that soldiers and members of the government were involved in the killings, the Sri Lankan government has yet to press charges.

As discussed in an article by Human Rights Watch, the killings took place on August 4, 2006, when armed men broke into the headquarters of the Action Contre La Faim (Action Against Hunger, ACF) and murdered 17 people who were working on relief efforts for victims of the 2004 tsunami that had devastated India. These men and women were killed execution style, with bullet wounds in the back of their heads and necks.

It has been six years since this horrendous incident, and still nothing has been done—no arrests have been made. “The sixth anniversary of the summary executions of 17 aid workers has brought the Sri Lankan government no closer to obtaining justice for the victims,” noted James Ross of Human Rights Watch. “President Rajapaksa’s callous indifference to the suffering of the aid workers’ families will be a sad hallmark of his administration.”

Human rights advocates believe governmental security forces were directly involved in the shootings, either with the executions or with a cover-up. Due to evidence including witness accounts, weapons analysis, and information linking governmental agencies with the murders, it is believed that two policemen and Naval Special Forces commanders were involved in the murders, and senior police officers and justice officials were involved in the cover-up.

The government of Sri Lanka has sat idly by for six years now, doing nothing to investigate this human rights atrocity besides leaving the responsibility with the police and the military—the groups thought involved in the murders and cover-up. This is neither a rational or acceptable way to deal with this massacre.

Appropriate measures must be taken to reopen this case, investigate and charge those involved. Sign below to urge the government of Sri Lanka to bring those responsible for this massacre to justice.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Government of Sri Lanka,

It is never too late to do the right and moral thing.

Six years ago 17 aid workers were brutally executed inside the Action Contre La Faim (Action Against Hunger, ACF)—a humanitarian agency. The aid workers were helping the families and victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami rebuild their lives.

These aid workers were murdered—execution style—inside the agency’s office. Regardless of the brutal nature of these killings, there has not been a legitimate investigation or prosecutions against any suspects.

This highlights the tendency of Sri Lankan officials to ignore evidence that implicates or criminalizes any government officials—police officers and soldiers. There is a convincing amount of evidence that these murders were committed by someone, or a group of people working for the government. There is also evidence of a cover-up, which is cause for alarm.

Six years have passed without achieving or even attempting to attain justice for the victims and their families. Please take the appropriate measures to arrest and charge those suspected in this case.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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Photo credit: Thomas Bucher via Fotopedia

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91 Signatures

  • Marianne Oelman
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Eric von Borstel
  • Muhammad Kamal
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Holly Hall
  • Jutta Taraniuk
  • Melanie waleski
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