Amnesty India: Sri Lanka presidential visit should emphasize justice
Amnesty India: Sri Lanka presidential visit should emphasize justice

[JURIST] Amnesty International India (AII) [advocacy website] said Sunday that a meeting between Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi [official websites] should emphasize justice and the rule of law. Sirisena is traveling to India on Sunday, his first official trip as the newly-elected president, focusing [AP report] on post-civil war reconciliation efforts. The Sri Lankan president also seeks to increase trade with India. The two nations have had a tense relationship in recent years as Sri Lanka established closer ties to the Chinese government. AII also lauded Sirisena [Economic Times report] for reinstating government institutions, including the judiciary, and urging the president to continue acting toward ending discrimination and investigating human rights abuses. Shemeer Babu, AII Programs Director, said India should support Sri Lanka to push for reforms. AII is urging the international community to support the island nation as it undergoes important changes.

SInce being elected president in January, Sirisena has expressed a strong desire to push for reforms in Sri Lanka. Last month Sirisena stated [JURIST report] that it is planning to investigate accusations of human rights abuses during the closing stages of the 26-year civil war, after former president Mahinda Rajapaksa refused to cooperate with UN investigators about claims of atrocities committed by the army in 2009. He also announced [JURIST report] the reinstatement of former chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake [JURIST news archive], calling the impeachment a procedural error. Bandaranayake had been impeached [JURIST report] in 2013 by an overwhelming vote in parliament. In January AI urged the new government to prioritize human rights [JURIST report].