24 May, 2022


Corbyn ‘Deeply Concerned’ Over Ongoing Torture In Sri Lanka

Leader of the UK’s main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn Friday expressed “deep concern” over the reports of ongoing torture of Tamils by the Sri Lanka security forces, and stressed that the UK’s foreign policy on Sri Lanka should be focused on accountability, not just promoting trade and investment.

Jeremy Corbyn

Referring to the recent report by the Johannesburg-based International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) titled “Unstopped: State torture & sexual violence in 2016/17 in Sri Lanka”, he said that the lack of accountability for the crimes of the past has enabled these horrific violations to continue in the island nation.

“I am deeply concerned about the evidence presented in this ITJP report about the ongoing torture of Tamils; it is the lack of accountability for the crimes of the past that has enabled these horrific violations to continue and we are all culpable if we don’t speak out loudly,” Corbyn said in a statement on Friday.

The ITJP’s latest report is based on detailed testimony from 57 Tamil victims of illegal detention and torture under the Sirisena-Ranil government – 24 of them tortured in 2016 or 2017.

Releasing the report in London last week, the ITJP said that the abduction and torture of Tamils by the Sri Lankan security forces “remain systematic because in 30 months the new Government has failed to dismantle the networks of the ‘deep state’”.

The ITJP said the ongoing torture “is not the conduct of a few “rotten apples” in the Sri Lankan security forces as it includes senior officers who themselves participate in the torture which is systematic and condoned”.

“On the basis of this report, the Home Office must immediately revise its country guidance on Sri Lanka – so that the risk categories match what’s clearly going on there rather than some wish believe view from London,” the Labour Party leader said.

“It’s time our foreign policy on Sri Lanka focused on accountability not just promoting trade and investment. I intend to call for an independent audit of DFID funding for training of the Sri Lankan
police – we need to know if this funding has helped diminish torture or just made the perpetrators better at covering it up,” Corbyn said in a hard-hitting statement.

Corbyn’s statement has come within a day after the outcome of the UN Special Rapporteur’s recent visit to Sri Lanka was raised in the House of Commons.

In response, Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom told the Members of the House of Commons that government MP representing the Cities of London and Westminster Mark Field has “registered our serious concern about the Special Rapporteur’s finding with Sri Lankan High Commissioner” for the UK.

The Leader of the House of Commons also assured the House Commons that the British Government would “continue to encourage the Sri Lankan government to deliver against all their UN Human Rights Council Commitments.

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Latest comments

  • 3

    Dear Sinhala commenter…
    The Torture is claim by Mr Jeremy Corbyn of Labor Party leader, which that political storm against democracy of Sri Lankan of war against LTTE -Terriosim over 30 odd years. The cost of war, also that cost of democracy paid by people of majority Sri Lankan.
    The currently trend term of Torture for being politically engaged against values of Democratic by
    Mr Corbyn . His claim of torture by leadership of Mr Corbyn is big boots to Tamil-terrorism .
    That is in favour of illegal war by LTTE and in favour of terrorism inside Sri lanka.
    In fact that should not be left-wing views of politics to leave for get on terrorism into society of democracy…..an Island.

    • 2

      Dear D. Nimal,

      Thanks for the explanation. From all that I can glean, you are a dedicated student of Marxism. I have merely tried to find out what Marx, later Lenin, and Trotsky stood for. I’ve never admired Stalin. It doesn’t matter that you think differently.

      However, I would expect you to regard all human beings as equal and valuable. However, it looks as though you have somehow labelled the war begun by the LTTE as “illegal” and seem to think that just anything can be done thereafter to “Tamil -terrorism”. Is there anything called a “legal” war? The Russian Revolution itself amy have been deemed illegal, before it actually succeeded. I’m pretty sure that Prabhakaran was a particularly nasty man.

      No, I can’t agree with you on many things, but I respect you for wrestling with these moral dilemmas. I don’t think that I will know how to respond to any more comments that you make, so please excuse me. Please continue to think for yourself – you are not one of those nasty sadistic thugs who have done so much damage.

  • 2

    The police department in Sri Lanka has been notorious for torturing and harassing both suspects and complainants in the most uncivil manner that includes lewd suggestions about sex from women, to rape, arrest without charges and physical abuse including inflicting very painful and debilitating injuries.

    Perhaps the worst forms of torture are reserved for the minorities, but it will be very good for these to be exposed fully, in the international arena regardless of political grandstanding by opposition hopefuls in the UK parliament. The more these bastards are exposed for the scum they are, the more incentive for their senior officers to enforce strict rules of conduct that ultimately makes the police true guardians of law and order.

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