The Sri Lankan authorities must not allow the army to investigate itself over allegations of excessive use of force by its members after three protesters demonstrating over access to drinking water were killed over the weekend, Amnesty International said.
“The Sri Lankan army should have never been policing unarmed demonstrators in the first place, and having them investigate their own alleged abuses is simply ridiculous,” said Polly Truscott, Asia Deputy Director at Amnesty International.
“Sri Lankan authorities must urgently initiate an effective investigation into this tragic incident. The investigation must be independent, impartial and conducted with the professionalism, resources and powers necessary to unearth the truth about this incident. The army cannot be seen to investigate itself. Anything less will send the message that using excessive force against protesters is permitted.”
Sri Lanka is legally bound by international human rights treaties to respect and protect the right to life, and provide effective remedy when this right is violated.
Protests began last week as thousands of Weliweriya residents in western Sri Lanka complained about the contamination of their source of drinkable water from a factory nearby.
The deaths on Thursday occurred following clashes between demonstrators and the army. Video footage appears to show soldiers firing live ammunition at protestors; some of whom can be seen throwing rocks.
According to media reports, Akila Dinesh, 17, died after in a local hospital soon after the first clashes on Thursday and Ravishan Perera, 19, died on Saturday. An unnamed 29-year-old man, died at the Colombo National Hospital on Sunday. According to media reports many other protesters were injured, and military personnel also assaulted some demonstrators who had taken refuge in a church.
gonbella / August 6, 2013
Of all the organisations in the world one would expect Amnesty International to know the real situation with regards to how Sri Lanka is governed and by who.
AI has asked the government of Sri Lanka that ‘The investigation must be independent, impartial and conducted with the professionalism, resources and powers necessary to unearth the truth about this incident.’
AI must be joking.
Such terms of reference are the norms for any civilised democracy conducting a commission of inquiry. But Sri Lanka is Thugocracy wearing the mantle of democracy. It is a nepotistic paradise to boot. The orders to deploy troops when the police should have dealt with civil disobedience matters came from the same government. The orders to shoot unarmed civilians also came from the same government.
There is a saying in Sinhalese, ‘horage ammagen pena ahawwa wage’.
Wickramasiri / August 6, 2013
Agree with you. AI does not know that this is part of the Mahinda Chintanaya, a development programme called Divinesuma.
mavan / August 6, 2013
Human Rights Commissioner, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said the Commission has commenced an investigation into the incident. Can you believe this investigation? Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa is not an impartial personnel. He is biased towards the government. He will do anything to cover up this Weliweriya incident. No hope for fair and justice. Where should we go for justice? Someone please explain!
Lapatiya / August 6, 2013
They should not worried about Independent Investigation in Waliweriya Incident. If they know about our Saddarmadveepa Chakrawarthi’s Independent Investigation system they will not say anything like this.
So far 3 Singhalaadeeshwara thuma has appointed Independent Investigation committees more than his Colored Jet Black Hairs in his Brainless Head.
Have they forgotten that our “Ranaviru Forces” conducted an Investigation about their own “White Flag” case and found that “Ranaviru” forces are not Guilty?
Have they forgotten that Boralugoda Sunaka Rajaya said that Victoria was not Raped?
Have they forgotten that Ananda Sarath Kumara who kneeled down a Teacher found not Guilty by SLFP Disciplinary Committee.
Have they forgotten that Rapists “Saruwa Sunil” and “Sampath Vidanapathira” still functioning as Chair persons of “Pradeshiya Saba”
Have they forgotten that Child rapist Duminda acquitted by our Independent Judiciary?
Have they forgotten that “Aadambarakara Thaththa” appointed an Independent Commission headed by ex.High court Judge Priyatha Perera, when our Ranaviru forces killed world no. 1 Terrorist “Katunayaka Roshen”. “Aadambarakara Thaththa” kept that report in the “Hamas Pettiya” because it seems that commission found evidence to suggest that “Roshen” killed himself.
This time also the Job has been given to the Same Ex.High Court Judge and I am sure that report will also be transferred to “Hamas Pettiya” and commission will find that forces fired for self defense.
Apart from that DIG Anura Senanayaka also conducting an Independent Investigation about the shooting and I have no doubt in my mind that It Will be another “Kangatta” kind of Investigation.
So AM should not worry about this as we are the nation who defeated world no 1 Tamil Terrorist’s and Liberated North. Defeated “FTF Terrorist’s” and liberated Katunayaka. defeated “Diesel Terrorist’s” and Liberated Halawatha. Defeated “Water Terrorist’s and Liberated Waliweriya. Now everything under the control of “Jathiye Aadambarakara Thaththa”
“Harak Marana eka Nawaththala Minissu kochchara Maruwama Mak wenawada, nadda”
Ben Dover / August 6, 2013
Highly entertaining comment from Lapatiya, underneath which sits a gruesome and sorrowful story. Nicely written Sir!
Senerath K / August 7, 2013
Bravo Lapatiya, so hilarious although everything you have said was the real truth. Luv reading ha ha ha 3singhaladishwara :)
lal / August 6, 2013
What happened in Weliweriya is tragic indeed. The photo of the weeping mother says it all – sorrow, hopelessness with the loss of a child nurtured by her.
Again, AI has wasted no time in making political capital out of misery in demonising Sri Lanka as a whole by playing to the gallery. Sri Lanka will do the right thing in investigating this incident.
If AI is genuine in their concerns for those who suffer at the hands of state sponsored aggression, it should demand independant investigations in all cases. These should include US, NATO – who regularly bomb and kill hundreds weekly. Presumably such actions are not financially rewarding.
It is shameful that a traumatised young mother is used for political purposes and propaganda.
Chandra Seneviratne / August 6, 2013
Whatever AI or any other international Organization may demand, MR will not hold any independent and impartial investigation into this dastard act of Sri Lankan army. What is known to civilized world is an independent, impartial investigation conducted with professionalism, this is not known in Sri Lanka under the despotic tyrannical rule of MR. What this tormentor would do is to hush up the matter using his political stooges and his boot-lickers . This orchestra has already begun. The very perpetrator, the army itself is to investigate into this dastard act of the army . The local Rights Unit led by MR’s henchman is also to investigate in to the use of Army excesses and awaiting Army’s investigation to gather facts? This orchestra answers in the affirmation what AI has raised that in Sri Lanka using excessive force against protesters is permitted.
Vernon / August 6, 2013
Whoever gave the orders and send the troops is responsible for the murder.Please accept your fault and forward resignation from the post which u are not suitable.
mike / August 6, 2013
It was VENEREAL Gandasara Thera, the newly appointed Offence Secretary who gave orders to send troops. He should disrobe and resign forthwith!
David Blacker / August 6, 2013
He was probably drunk when he made that claim.
Rohan / August 6, 2013
Jesus!!! Do Monks drink?
Nisal Amarasinghe / August 6, 2013
I was disgusted to see a picture of the new Army commander being blessed by the Mahanayake tying a Pirith noola on his hand on the very day that his troops were on a murderous rampage killing and maiming innocent citizens. These are the people who preach morality and the rule of law to us the people.We have reached the pits with leaders like this for our younger generation to emulate.Where is Justice and the rule of law in our country? Run by a ruthless uneducated bunch of peasants and thugs.
crazyoldmansl / August 6, 2013
What is the problem? If the army can kill Tamils, why can it not kill Sinhalese. Keep the human rights wallahs out of the scene. Let the army kill at least ten times the number of sinhalese as they killed Tamils. Only then we will have peace. Actually 100 times the number of Sinhalese than Tamils will be better. The Sinhalese need a taste of their army before they can become civilized. I think the army needs an amnesty to kill as many Sinhalese as possible to balance off its killing of the Tamils.
Punchinilame / August 6, 2013
Dont worry, the AI has done its bit and that is the end of the story.
The Army has Regime henchmen who will oblige the same again should the
need arise. Matters will be forgotten shortly – await a public deviation
by mouthpiece Wimal soon. The Dynasty MUST go on and on, with its many
ups & down.
Mahasohon / August 7, 2013
I don’t always agree with AI, but on this one I fully agree. In Sri Lanka today its impossible to find an independent investigation authority. The killings were political killings to set an example for the remainder of the country, to show what would happen if any group, organized or disorganized demonstrated against any grievance that they have. The tinpot dictator takes it as a personal insult and as he lives in fear, his phobia is that he might get toppled from his high horse. So he goes round setting examples, using his poltical thugs like Kudu Duminda, Mervyn the Vermyn, Atha Kota, the demonic ananda of chilaw (I wonder how his parents managed to give this name to this half-human). At Katunayaka he used police to intimidate and kill a demonstrator, and this time he has used the robotic army. With the corrupt police, politcized military service and totally corrupted and politcized judiciary, legal fraternity and academia, ther is no one in the country that could be considered as independent investigators. Army is the least qualified, as they were the perpetrators of the crime.
Udari / August 7, 2013
Please accept my deepest sympathies. I am praying that you will recover soon from thi. I know it is hard.Please do not forget Rajapassas and the family and thier close associates are responsible for this death.