22 September, 2020

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High Time For Sri Lanka To Investigate Well-Known Alleged Perpetrators Of Torture: ITJP

If Sri Lanka is serious about tackling ongoing torture it needs to suspend and investigate a number of well known security officials named in United Nations reports in connection with torture. Vague assertions by successive Sri Lankan Governments of a “zero tolerance” policy for torture are meaningless in the light of multiple reports of past and ongoing torture and the impunity for those named in a number of reports as alleged torturers. 

The ITJP has identified the names of 47 alleged perpetrators of extremely brutal torture in one security unit alone, not to mention a number of alleged rapists of Tamil detainees in the Sri Lankan Army (including one recently training abroad) and perpetrators of torture in the Sri Lankan Navy. One alleged perpetrator of torture is currently posted in an overseas embassy, while two others have been living in Australia recently.    

“If we sitting abroad can collect such a huge body of evidence, think what could be achieved by a credible team inside the country with appropriate investigative  powers reporting to an independent authority.  From the outset we offered to help this Government establish an independent international investigative unit, such as the one in Guatemala, but we never heard back from them. It’s crucial to dismantle these entrenched structures of repression otherwise the broken brutalised victims just keep increasing in number,” said the ITJP’s executive director, Yasmin Sooka. 

Torture Continues

The latest report of continuing torture by the police and army in Sri Lanka comes from the UK’s main rehabilitation charity, Freedom From Torture based on 16 victims alleging torture between 2015-17. The ITJP has previously documented 76 very similar cases from 2015-17.  In 2017 the Associated Press news agency released a major investigation into ongoing torture and male rape based on 20 interviews with victims and 32 medical reports. 

“The UN report on Sri Lanka described systematic torture by the security forces and said sexual violence was part of “an institutional policy”. Illegal detention and torture doesn’t just go away with a few prison visits – the alleged perpetrators and commanders need to be suspended, investigated and prosecuted,” said Ms. Sooka.  

Immediate Steps

The ITJP believes if Sri Lanka is serious about preventing torture, the following well-known individuals, among many others, should be suspended and investigated immediately: 

1. Nandana Munasinghe: The UN Special Rapportuer on Torture Manfred Nowak in 2007 called for him (and other named officers of TID) to be promptly investigated in connection with police torture. Instead he has been repeatedly promoted and is now a Senior DIG. In 2016, astonishingly he was appointed to the body for witness protection in Sri Lanka and in 2017 put in charge of investigating an attempted white van abduction. 

2. Sisira Mendis: He is named in the 2015 OHCHR report as being in charge of the “fourth floor” – the most notorious torture site in Sri Lankam where among others a number of prominent journalists were detained and tortured. Mr. Mendis was brought out of retirement by the coalition government and appointed as director of the Centre for National Intelligence in the Ministry of Defence and sent to Geneva as part of the Government’s delegation to the UN Committee Against Torture. Felice Gaer of the UN Committee told the New York Times “He was the person with command responsibility over the most notorious center for abuse in the country just at the end of the civil war, at a time when so many of the horrendous things happened”. Sri Lanka has yet to answer formal questions from the UN Committee about the role of Mr. Mendis. 

3. Jagath Jayasuriya: as commander of Joseph Camp from 7 August 2007 to 14 July 2009 was in charge of one of the country’s most notorious torture sites. The ITJP brought a number of universal jurisdiction cases against him in 2017 in Latin America in connection with torture and other grave violations. 

4. Shavendra Silva: Alleged by victims to have approved of torture of Tamil detainees by his men after the end of the war. Appointed Chief of Army Staff in 2019 despite persistent allegations of war crimes. 

(By ITJP)

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Latest comments

  • 5
    20

    Just the way turkey and Britain said Sri lankan president should say that War heroes are not available for prosecution. they carries out govt orders and they are not mechanical robots. Even LTTE rump got caught. All these screamings are for the preparation of the Next govt which won’t be Ranil’s UNP govt of butter flies..

    • 5
      0

      Whole lot of people in tihs island ARE disappointed as no times before and beleive, that justice is being not served as promised to the nation.Particularly President and his statments are no credible to the masses.
      :
      People are hurt today as no times before, not seeing any investigations against high profile crimes being openly neglected by President’s mediation in this country. N othing seems to work against his reactions. Day by day, incumbent president put them off. Number of court cases against heinous crimes deliberately perpetrated by Rajaakshes family are filed. Part of the invesitgations are carried out. Now most of the cases and their findings are done, but impunity is being placed before their moves, with President’s wanting to get an another term to ruin this nation.
      :
      Even the recent coup that lasted just 52 days, proved the worl that President is absolutly a constitutional violater also considering the verdict of the countrys supreme court. But lanken style of highly abusive politics, seems to allow him governing the coutnry further.
      :
      We cant be proud any mot to have a democracy when thinking about the unethical behaviours of today President.

  • 5
    18

    govt has so many problems. So, these are the news. 10 year old stories.

    • 4
      0

      JD
      You could be an idiot but you really don’t need to advertise. These crimes has no statute of limitation.

      • 2
        7

        Burt,
        For this kind of things Sinhalayo call ‘Higannage Thuwalaya’ (Beggar’s wound) that never heals. The ‘Koti Diaspora’, NGOs thriving on $$$s from White Supremacists and TNA want to keep this wound unhealed for their survival.

        • 3
          0

          Eagle Eye,,
          .
          Your good old Examples should also be applicable to Rajaakshe politics.

          Yet today, they abuse where they can. Do you think that only KOTI Diasphora keep BEGGARs wound unhealed for thei r surival tactics ?:
          :
          Just imagine, MOTHERs go torments of tantalus in CMBO and other metropoles today, not being able to save their own sons from Drugs. But BP Rajakashe was one of the SENIOR men to have promoted Drug trafficking in the country. Alone for that matter, the bugger woudl have been hung by his balls would be the one good thing for the nation.
          At least if any of his 3 sons could get caught by Drugs, he could show wholehearted efforts in controlling drug menace in that hell.
          :
          We are very unfornate to have MEN of Rajaakshe nature, – they only abused it to the core as nothing could easily help reveersing. THe karma will work them next days, I believe in TRUE BUDDHISM (not taking a revenge on .. but criminals should fall deeper in the hell).

          • 0
            1

            Babalathappu,
            “We are very unfornate to have MEN of Rajaakshe nature”
            ‘Koti Diaspora’, TNA, some former LTTE cadres and some NGOs thriving on $$$s from White Supremacists may feel unfortunate to have men like Rajapakses because they gave the leadership to eliminate barbarian Prabhakaran and his barbaric gang LTTE. But a large majority of people (Demala, Muslim, Sinhala, Malay, Vedda Eththo) in this country are fortunate to have Rajapakses who saved this country from Demala terrorists.

        • 0
          0

          EE:
          Easy way of healing the so called “Beggar’s wound” would be to have an open and honest investigation that has credibility that the world would recognise.
          If the govt is sure its military did not commit war crimes why is it worried in doing a proper investigation.

  • 18
    1

    It does not make sense that such things like torture can take place systematically in a country that many people proudly proclaim to be ‘Budunge Rata’. How can torture be practiced in a country that gives the ‘Foremost place to Buddhism’? And how is it that the authorities do not even care to inquire into these matters? Instead, they give promotions to torturers and appoint them to plum posts!

    • 8
      16

      When you are at war with the most ruthless terrorists organisation in the world ,
      there is no “budunge rata” that comes into the equation.
      GOSL was at war with a person like Jesus Christ and against the Christ’s Army according to S.J.Emmanuel which was all divine.

      Such comments have to be from the perspective of an estate labourer. Just take it with a pinch of salt.

  • 18
    2

    Well ! well ! well,! While the Saints go Marching on , their bad Karma and the Curse of the Tortured , dead, and Raped will follow them until they fall flat on their face.
    Aneh!! Karumam is there to punish these evil monsters, even if they escape punishment the ” Karuma ” will follow them until they die.Show no mercy for the Torturers.

  • 24
    2

    Sinhalese political leadership are very good at fooling majority of Sinhalese with the concept of Majority theory. They were kept under fear that Tamils are the only enemies for them. This mantra is used very often when they needed. They don’t give any time to question about how true is their mantra. That is why they create riots and wars against Tamils frequently. They also know if majority of Sinhalese become economically sound it is danger for their existance and their fake mantra propaganda using Tamils. Within the past seven decades, Sinhalese lost a large number of youths in 1970 and 1989. The loss of Sinhalese are much less than that of Tamils in this island within the seven deacde. Majority of Sinhalese are poor, uneducated, below poverty line compared to Tamils but a few families enjoy full economic status. None of the political, religious or high class educated Sinhalese do not tell this truth. When JVP leader Wijeweera found this truth and gathered support of rural youth, they were massacred in thousands and their mouth was shut. So, unless the Sinhalese are allowed to realise the truth, Ordinary Sinhalese will remain poor and they will never get freedom.

    • 1
      0

      Dear Ajith,
      .
      Thanks for your many comments. Much of what you say is true, but I feel that you go just that little bit of the way too far in making observations that are too sharp.
      .
      Things have got so bad in the country that it is possible that we are getting close to a showdown. It would then be necessary for those of us who mean well to finally defeat the forces of evil. Evil, they are.
      .
      However, please be careful not to allow them to escape by indulging in rhetoric which may result in “Ordinary Sinhalese” turning once more to racist extremists because it is easy to make them panic about the future by talking of Eelam – or more realistically this harmless word “Federalism” which seems the end of the World to the Sinhalese.
      .
      Of course, that’s rubbish. I have to only look at my skin colour to know that I am genetically as Dravidian as any Tamil. I don’t, unfortunately, know your language. We are one people, divided by having two languages.

  • 4
    14

    Why Yasmin Sooka is not worried about Drug barons gunned down by Duterte’s army. IT is because, duterte shook hands with Trump and promised to ga back against China.

  • 8
    19

    LTTE is not an army but a lowly terrorist group.
    ,
    All they did initially was, hiding in the shade and killing innocent Sinhalese and Muslim families in the rural areas of North and East. Afterwards they hid behind suicide bombers.
    ,
    They were ruthless and gutless. Too scared of the future consequences, hence they even killed the innocent children.
    ,
    This is when our government gave weapons to some selected people of those villages. Due to the bravery of them, we managed to stop people from migrating.
    ,
    Otherwise our economy would have stopped because most of them were farmers.
    ,
    Our army never targeted the innocent Tamil people, even when we got ambushed by LTTE, who were acting like the innocent.
    ,
    Colombo became the safe haven for many Tamils. The last stages of war was collateral damage. Independent UN war crimes investigations confirmed this.
    ,
    The issue is their are some idiots support this lowly terrorist group, while forgetting the help they received from our army and the Lankans, who despised LTTE.
    ,
    Nothing else is making them do it rather than stupidity, political agenda or economic agenda.
    ,
    Every person has Human rights, but supporting groups who are only about violating them is too a violation of the same.
    ,
    Sometimes torturing is necessary in order to greater good to humanity. Without this Intel, many more would have died.
    ,
    I believe the Rapists should be punished but not for torture. The soldiers did the same with good intentions in mind.
    ,
    You are hurting our heroes for doing their duty. Your words hurt them more than the bullets.

    • 4
      1

      Suranga Gunasekara,
      Try to speak at least a few truth. Don’t lie too much! It is your soldiers killed over 60000 Sinhalese youth.

      • 4
        4

        Ajith,
        ,
        It’s actually 80,000 young Sinhalese, when you add 1971 and 1989.
        ,
        It was done by a team organized by JR which had components of army and police.
        ,
        It was designed to kill the popularity of the JVP.
        ,
        Guess what they were fighting for?
        ,
        They fought for economic justice, for all Lankan’s.
        ,
        LTTE was formed by India for economic collapse of Sri Lanka, with the help of greedy Tamil leaders.
        ,
        You cannot blame the Forces, for the stupidity of the politicians.
        ,
        Kindly specify what is not true

        • 3
          2

          Suranga,
          Once again you show your brutal Sinhala racist face rather than telling the truth. You don;t speak about 1958, 1962, 1977 butcherism of Sinhala against Tamils well before JRJ. LTTE was not formed by India but it was created by Tamils to defend Tamil community of this island but India used LTTE and other Tamil militants groups for their purposes. It was not for economic purposes, it was because Sinhalese are anti-Indian stand with their war between India-Pakistan and India and China. If you Sinhalese would have accepted the Banda-Chelva pact of 1956, Srilanka would have now one of the developed world but unfortunately Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism chose to go with destruction policies.
          You can’t put the blame on politicians and escape from the truth. It is you who all back those politicians who order to massacre Sinhalese and Tamils.

          • 2
            2

            Ajith,
            ,
            Feeling is mutual, when it comes to racism.
            ,
            I have clearly specified the type of people who support LTTE. I never claimed Tamil people.
            ,
            Chelvanayagam wanted 50 percent representation of power when you had only 12 percent population at the time.
            ,
            It would have ended up like Rwanda.
            ,
            I have plenty of Tamil friends and none of them share your extreme views.

            • 2
              0

              Suranga,

              It shows your ignorance and innocense when it comes to facts. Chelvanayagam never wanted 50 % representation to 12% Tamils. Read about Banda-Chelva pact what they agreed for? It is GG Ponnampalam who asked for 50% representation for all Tamil speaking people in this island including Srilankan Tamils, Srilankan Muslims and Indian origin Tamils in the up country. I have lots of Sinhalese friends. I worked in Sinhalese areas for most of my life. If you want to find out what Tamils wants just look at the election results of the past. It will speak itself truth.

    • 4
      1

      @ Suranga Gunasekara

      He He He

      LTTE was lowly terrorist Group?

      Then why your cardboard Army couldn’t reach them over 30 years?
      Why all of you hid and bed hugging your partner when you heard LTTE?
      Why all of you scared to travel on the same bus I mean husband and wife?
      Shame 134 countries required to silence to this lowly group ???
      A fake ..artificial..borrowed victory only celebrated for free liquor by Modays.

      We will not share the power with Tamils BUT we are ready to give entire country our
      daughters, sisters to Chinese no disgrace???

      How many of your newly born cousins and nephews are with Chinese face?
      Sinhala cardboard soldiers raped with good intentions in mind my toes are laughing.

      Cheers

      • 2
        1

        Every thing what Sinhalese soldiers did-Rape, Murder, and torture of the Tamils were done with good intentions. Don’t question.

        • 1
          2

          Twisting words.
          ,
          Murder and torture of LTTE and the suspected? Yes
          Rape? No

      • 2
        2

        Sounds like you are LTTE. Keep hiding behind the pregnant women and children with bombs.
        ,
        Sorry we won’t allow you to kill our innocent families anymore.
        ,
        Without our army, You would have been enjoying training child soldiers.
        ,
        Kindly let the innocent Tamils to get on with their lives.
        ,
        I’m not angry at you, but I pity you

    • 2
      1

      Colombo became the safe havens for the Tamils’…….. Yes! because they escaped from barrel bombs By Lalith Athulathmudali and co and murder and mayhem of the Srilankan army.

      • 1
        2

        Should have supported the army to bring down the hiding LTTE?

  • 11
    1

    Tomorrow there will be boycott in North organized by Missing persons’ relatives- Mothers. These people hunger and protest have gone beyond 700 days. All Tamil speaking communities- Northern, Upcountry and Muslim parties – have expressed their cooperation. Diaspora Organizations also cooperating with these mothers. I came across a news piece saying even Liquor shops and Bars will be cooperating on this occasion.
    The very first open promise on missing persons appeared on the Election Statement TNA released in December 2014. With about 10 promises, this too was offered to Tamils to vote for EP CC. At the LLRC hearings, Mannar Archbishop raised a question of where the 150,000 people missing between the 470,000 lived in the war area, as per the local government records and the ones accounted in the Internment Camps after the war. Many on these numbers are very well known people who cannot easily missing like Father Francis and Sasitharan, LTTE Political activist. Ananthi, Ex. NCP member is the witness of Sasitharan. Farther Francis had taken with him much surrender to Rapist Army. There are many witnesses on this. Another political team and many combatants of LTTE who surrendered to Army with white flag are missing, though few leaders’ bodies were identified. There are many other ways Army had made Tamils missing. During Krishanti murder trial Corporal Rajapaksa identified the Chemani Mass grave. Mannar CWE mass grave is identified. Even though a high cost carbon dating was done on these finding, Appe Aanduwa is playing hide and seek with the report. Until Aanduwa thoroughly manipulate the report and save the culprits, there is no hope of any part of this report coming out.
    The two biggest Gilmarts played by Appe Aanduwas on the Missing person are:
    1). Paranagama Commission: This commission’s original mandate was not tracing missing persons. But, because the commission worked very well for Old Royals on its first assignment, Old King extended the commission’s mandate to Missing person too.

  • 6
    2

    On its first finding Commission said 15,000 soldiers and 6,000 civilians were missing. Then the commission sent CIDs to the Missing persons’ Tamils relatives’ homes to threaten them and make them withdraw their complaints. Matters were taken to UNHRC and Paranagama was forced to abandon the commission. Then again, there are two famous cases on this too. One is about Missing Persons activist Jeyakumari. Her all three sons are no longer with her. When she attempted to find out them, Appe Aanduwa framed her as a LTTEyer/reviver. She and her daughter were arrested and imprisoned, without any case. Other case is about a girl seen with New King in a picture but denied by all security personnel as they know her where about. The mother is still desperate.
    2). Setting up of OMP: This is the second major promise of Yahapalanaya government on missing persons. This is coming from the joint resolution Lankawe signed with UNHRC. This office took more than three years to be created. The law passed on this tweaked missing soldiers in that. Office did not include any known local or international activist or anyone who has interest in Tamil Missing persons. The office remains as only a snake that is already dead.
    To save them out of Resolution 30/1, last year, Government and Opposition jointly staged a fake Coup. Third time, Lankawe negotiators with UNHRC are proposing to withdraw from UNHRC, but not seriously implementing anything they promised there in 2015. The biggest disappointment is the current government making a murderous Nany personal as CDS against whom a case is going on about serious association with murders. While the case is on, he has threatened to shoot witnesses. The recent promotion of Priyanka and Shavendra Silva is showing Ranil or New King have no interest at all about the missing persons, but ready to make more missing with the help of these officials.

  • 7
    1

    everywhere duterte goes sirisena is sure to follow

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 1
    0

    Protesting is continuing and multiplying because there was not healing last year, If we continue down this path of hurt, we will be met at the gates by our own doom. And the reminder of the past to the new born, Right to morn is the International Truth and Justice Project calls upon for human rights to intervene seeing the rising of campaigners.

  • 3
    0

    When I red the article one name repeatedly haunted my memory lane and that’s no other than GOTABYA RAJAPKSE.

  • 2
    1

    He He He

    The g-g-g-g-g-grandsons & daughters of deported criminal Vijaya who as usual pen their anti-Tamil venom are not aware of what happened to SERBIA (ex-Yugoslavia) when this country failed to hand over wanted WAR CRIMINALS.

    Serbians were banned to travel other Western Countries, banking service was cut off, No foreign Aids or Loans, application to join in EU was thrown into the dustbin, people suffered till the war criminals were captured and sent to IC court by charter flights.

    This is an international rule, not Mahavamsa con, certainly, one-day Modayas will face the same problem

    Cheers

    Cheers

  • 2
    0

    There have been deaths of citizens in custody of police, prisons and armed forces.
    These will constitute a new chapter.
    Citizens in custody for many years without trial are the worst insult to human rights.
    These are ignored by all.

  • 2
    6

    When the UNHRC sessions get closer Yasmin Hooka get an itch. This itch will go off when ‘Koti Diaspora’ stop pumping $$$s to ITJP.

  • 2
    0

    International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) must raise concerns with the GoSL of the day, the main Opposition and the ‘Law unto themselves’ Uniformed Services (Lankan Army, Navy, Air Force and Police).
    The GoSL and Opposition of the day are from the same stable of the Elites. The two put a façade of differences but are united in protecting each other.
    The Uniformed Services are interested only in keeping the perks and are in a position to choose the list of elites to protect.
    The three hope, albeit unrealistically, that UN Radar will fade away.
    .
    To cut short a long story: ITJP, please continue naming names.

  • 3
    5

    Grievances of Demala people according to TNA:
    # War crimes committed by SL Armed Forces;
    # Not establishing hybrid courts to try SL Armed Forces for war crimes;
    # Missing persons;
    # Sri Lankan Government not fulfilling the promises made to UNHRC;
    # Not passing a new constitution with a confederate governing system.
    ————
    What all these things got to do with ordinary Demala people in this country? Will any of these things solve their real problems such as oppression by Wellala elites based on caste, unemployment, landlessness caused due to applying a customary law ‘Thesawalamei’ brought from Malabar, drinking water problem, housing problem, increase in caste based schools, shortage of teachers to teach Sinhala, indebtedness etc.
    ————
    These are grievances cooked up by Wellala elite politicians who live in Colombo for their political survival . These Wellala politicians do not care for the real grievances of ordinary Demala people. Ordinary Demala people should get rid of these crooks.

  • 0
    0

    Hello Lankans today news. A large haul of 300 kg cocaine was seized in Colombo 2. What Ranjan told must be true. Money may be used for election campaign. Other news is apparently Mahindananda,s (the worst,street thug and a criminal) son has hit and run a traffic OIC and now absconding. Was he in hurry to collect the shipment on behalf of HIS dad ????? JEYAWEWA.

  • 1
    0

    Don’t forget , the Mannar Mass Graves are not yet completely investigated. Will someone rush and close it totally?

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