Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice (SLCFPJ) in a statement issued in light of the upcoming Presidential elections and the UN war crimes report on Sri Lanka that is due to be released in 2015, has warned the first three months of the coming year could result either in a breakthrough for justice and reconciliation or a bloodbath as the government fights to hold on to power.
The statement has noted the widespread concerns for high levels of election violence and a possible refusal by the President to relinquish his hold on what is increasingly called an ‘illegitimate and authoritarian state’ as a result of President Rajapaksa‘s fear of losing power that would result in a loss of immunity form possible charges of crimes against humanity.
“This fight for power within the country and the fear of international war crimes prosecutions may result in a ‘bloodbath’ in the country,” the statement said.
The statement has also notes the ongoing UN investigation on Sri Lanka – the OISL, and the mounting allegations of human rights violations that continue to be levelled at the government of Sri Lanka including rape, sexual violence, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture and attacks on freedom of expression, association and freedom of assembly, attacks on human rights defenders and violence against minorities that would add to the adverse actions the government might resort to in the coming months.
*Correction- An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the statement is issued by the SLCEFJ Director Fred Carver, but the SLCEFJ Campaign Director, Fred Carver says although they distributed the statement, it is a collective effort by members of Sri Lankan civil society who wish to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.