HUMAN RIGHTS IN SRI LANKA - AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 

Pathma arrived in New Zealand in 2002 via the UN's refugee resettlement programme after spending 11 years in limbo in Malaysia.  His wife doesn't want to be identified, fearing for her brother and sister who remain in Sri Lanka. 

Pathma arrived in New Zealand in 2002 via the UN's refugee resettlement programme after spending 11 years in limbo in Malaysia.  His wife doesn't want to be identified, fearing for her brother and sister who remain in Sri Lanka. 

In the lead up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in 2013, Amnesty ran a campaign to shine a spotlight on the ongoing human rights abuses occurring in Sri Lanka and to highlight the need for an independent investigation into crimes committed during the civil conflict. 

I joined the Media Manager on a number of interviews with former refugees from Sri Lanka, listening to their stories and hearing their wishes for the New Zealand government to take a stand on what is right. 

While the meeting went ahead in Sri Lanka, Amnesty and other human rights groups were successful in getting the issues into the media and out to the public. Most importantly, those interviewed as part of the campaign to told Amnesty how much it meant that many New Zealanders had finally, years later, heard their stories. 

You can read Pathma's story here.

Pathma and his wife have been trying to have their young nephew join them in New Zealand.

Pathma and his wife have been trying to have their young nephew join them in New Zealand.

This is just some of the piles of documentation from the process. They are still waiting. 

This is just some of the piles of documentation from the process. They are still waiting. 

We also met with Vanni Mahal (not her real name) who was severely burned in the no fly zones during the final months of the conflict. 

Waikato Times, 2013

Waikato Times, 2013

Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand Flame magazine, 2013 

Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand Flame magazine, 2013 

Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand Flame magazine, 2013

Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand Flame magazine, 2013