JOINT ALTERNATIVE REPORT From the Sri Lankan NGO Collective to the Committee Against Torture

”2.1 A protracted civil war of 26 years between government forces and the LTTE inflicted devastating consequences at a human, social, and institutional level. In May 2009, a military victory declared by the Sri Lankan Government saw the end of the war”.

”2.3 In September 2010, constitutional reform was rushed through Parliament (18th Amendment to the Constitution), which among other things, effectively removed the two term limit on the Executive Presidency, thereby solidifying the president’s power over the Attorney-General, judiciary and various “independent” commissions. The president was conferred unfettered powers to make all key public service appointments. The diminished independency of almost all the constitutional commissions (including the Human Rights Commission and the National Police Commission) further contributed to weakening legal safeguards against any human rights violations including torture. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution was heralded as consolidation of dynastic power and authoritarianism”

”2.4 Between 2009 and 2014, the Government of Sri Lankan failed to address the need for accountability and reconciliation. It was seen to be hostile to freedom of expression and restricted the space for key domestic and international stakeholders to engage in human rights, peacebuilding and reconciliation. Strengthened military presence in the North and East of Sri Lanka continued to disrupt rebuilding of civilian life and posed a serious threat to security. Enforced disappearances and attacks against dissident voices continued.”

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