The investigation team put together by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to probe into alleged abuses that occurred during the final phases of the war in Sri Lanka, has agreed on a final framework and an investigation methodology to proceed with its operations.
In an update made in the OHCHR site last night on the methods of work of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) it will be:
– conducting a desk review of existing documents and information that includes government and civil society reports
– collect and document victims’ testimonies and accounts of survivors, witnesses and alleged perpetrators
– seek information from other relevant sources including satellite images, authenticated video and photographic material and official documents.
As part of the information accumulation procedures, the OHCHR has welcomed any state, individual or organization to submit information in writing to the OISL through the email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon analyzing the information that will be collected through such means, the OISL will then proceed to verify facts and accounts to meet the agreed standard of proof.
The update further notes it will continue to seek engagement with the Government of Sri Lanka and that the High Commissioner will continue to request for the OISL to have access to the country to meet with Government officials and others, as well as to have access to all relevant documentation.
“In carrying out its work, the OISL will be guided at all times by the principles of independence, impartiality, objectivity, transparency, integrity and ‘do no harm’,” the statement notes.
While stressing upon the necessary steps that would be followed to ensure witness and victim protection concerns through the adoption of procedures and methods of work aimed at protecting such persons during all stages of its work,it has also called upon the GoSL to fulfill their obligation to protect victims and witnesses and others in Sri Lanka who make contact with the OISL.
“It will be requested to make an undertaking that no such person shall, as a result of such contact, suffer harassment, threats, acts of intimidation, ill-treatment or reprisals,” the update reads.