People’s Rights Group (PRG), a rights based advocacy and lobbying group based in the UK particularly dealing with human rights violations in Sri Lanka expresses its solidarity with the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks of 2019, and demand that the Government of Sri Lanka stops using it as an excuse to perpetrate human rights violations against other minority communities.

21st of April 2021 marks two years since the horrific Easter Sunday attacks took place in five locations in Sri Lanka. The event marked the worst single coordinated attack on minority communities in the country since the end of the civil war between the GoSL and the LTTE in 2009.  As it came to light during various inquiries and exposures, the GoSL at the time remained purposefully negligent in preventing the attacks despite the availability of credible information and warnings of the attacks.

Following the attacks there were promises and pledges made, to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice. A multitude of commissions, committees, inquiries and investigations were launched and numerous reports were produced, but the basic questions pertaining to this gross human rights violation remain unanswered after two years. Even though law enforcement authorities have arrested a hundreds of suspects, not a single credible conviction has been made, putting into doubt the GoSL’s genuine intention to mete out justice to the victims.

Instead of serving justice however, in the name of rooting out and preventing extremism, the government has continued to harass, intimidate and violate the rights of members of the Muslim community, engaging in arbitrary arrests, prolonged detentions without clear purpose, curtailing the right to religious freedom, and committing other forms of human rights abuses. The GoSL has effectively used the calamity of one minority community to perpetrate and justify violations against another minority.

PRG calls on the government of Sri Lanka to establish a credible process to mete out justice to the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks and take immediate measures to mitigate their prolonged suffering. PRG also calls on the government to stop using the Easter Sunday attacks to justify its continuing systemic and systematic campaign of human rights violations against other minority communities, particularly the Muslim communities.

PRG Statement on Harassment of Minorities 22-04-21