The war may be 'over' in Sri Lanka with the government's termination of the Tamil Tiger rebels, however thousands of Sri Lankan citizens have died, been displaced from family or disappeared in following alleged abductions in white vans.
Families are calling out for their loved ones and urging the Sri Lankan government to investigate the matter urgently in order for the 'war to really be over'. Many families have claimed that there is an ongoing 'civil war' within the country where many journalists and people looking for their loved ones are facing repression from the Sri Lankan government and being 'silenced'.
David Cameron's four-month deadline for Sri Lanka to investigate alleged war crimes has had a defiant response from President Mahinda Rajapaksa who has stated that, " Sri Lanka would take its own time" in investigating the allegations and human rights abuses. Rajapaksa claims "the end of the war of 2009 has brought peace, stability and the chance of greater prosperity to Sri Lanka". However the matter still remains that an investigation is needed to ensure accountability and give justice to those affected by the war.
Frustratingly, the British prime minister left Colombo having failed to persuade concessions President Mahinda Rajapaksa or fellow leaders to look into the matter with urgency. Before he left Britain, Cameron gave Sri Lanka until March 2014 to order an independent inquiry into alleged brutality against civilians.
In addition, Cameron visited the North of Sri Lanka and listened to Tamil civilians who desperately want to be reunited with their family members. Seeing their plight he highlighted the matter within the media and tried to persuade Mr Rajapaksa into an urgent investigation or face a UN backed international enquiry into the matter.
There are many obstacles that we need to overcome in order to expose the intolerances of governments and the many accounts of human rights violations that remain in the world today. Powerful states continually manipulate the law and conceal their crimes from international criticism for their own political advantage, which makes it increasingly difficult for people to be brought to justice.
The 2009 Interim Secretary General of Amnesty International, Claudio Cordone, emphasized the importance of accountability of violation of human rights in a statement and said,
"Ensuring accountability is important because, first and foremost, those who have suffered harm have a right to truth and justice. Accountability also allows us to look ahead. It provides a measure of deterrence for those who commit crimes, and it provides a basis on which to build reforms of state and international institutions. Efficient and effective mechanisms for accountability can help states make better policies and laws, and monitor their impact on people's lives."