David Griffiths, Director of the Office of the Secretary General at Amnesty International has issued the following statement after the release and acquittal of MP Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan and four others in the 2005 assassination of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Joseph Pararajasingham. They were released following an announcement by the Attorney General’s Department that it would be dropping the charges against the suspects.
“The collapse of this case marks yet another sorry milestone in the Sri Lankan authorities’ continued failure to ensure justice for crimes committed during the armed conflict. The Attorney General’s Office has not indicated any interest in re-opening the investigation into the murder.
“Those aligned with the state must not continue to enjoy impunity for historic abuses. Without accountability, Sri Lanka will never be able to turn the page on this dark chapter. The authorities must immediately launch a new thorough, effective and impartial criminal investigation and bring those responsible for Joseph Pararajasingham’s murder to justice.
“However, given the repeated failures of past domestic accountability mechanisms, we are not holding our breath. The international community must step up to end the cycle of impunity and advance accountability for human rights violations in Sri Lanka.”
Pararajasingam was shot dead while attending a service at St. Mary’s Church in Batticaloa on December 25, 2005.