Saturday, April, 01,2023

Sri Lanka must ensure compensation for victims of 2019 terrorist attacks

Geneva: Sri Lanka must fully compensate victims of the Easter Sunday 2019 terrorist attacks, the UN human rights office said on Wednesday, following a recent decision by the country's top court.
The Lankan Supreme Court last week ordered the former President and three other senior officials to compensate the families of the victims because they had failed to prevent the tragedy. More than 270 people were killed in the series of explosions at churches and hotels across the island nation. In a statement, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) urged Sri Lanka to provide full reparations to the victims, including establishing the truth and ensuring justice.
"Whilst no amount of compensation can ever erase the suffering and pain of the victims and families, this judgment marks a step in the victims' struggle for recognition of the harm suffered and their rights to truth, justice and reparation," said Spokesperson Jeremy Laurence, as quoted in the OHCHR statement.

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that former President Maithripala Sirisena, the former defence secretary and two other former security and intelligence officials, had violated the fundamental rights of the victims by failing to prevent the attacks.
They were ordered to personally pay nearly USD 850,000 into a victims' fund, OHCHR said.
"In its judgment, the Court expressed 'shock and dismay' at the lack of 'oversight and inaction' by the security and intelligence officials - ruling that the former President and his top security officials had failed to prevent the attacks, despite detailed intelligence suggesting such attacks were imminent," said Laurence.
In a previous decision, the Court found that proceedings against current President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was Prime Minister at the time, could not continue given the immunities he enjoys while in office.
The UN human rights office called on the Sri Lankan Government to ensure that victims receive adequate compensation and that they and their representatives are fully consulted in the disbursement of the funds.
Laurence also reiterated OHCHR's recommendations to the authorities, who are urged to release the complete findings of previous inquiries into the Easter Sunday bombings. (ANI)

  Share on

Related News