11 August, 2020

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Lanka Dismisses US Human Rights Report

Sri Lanka on Sunday dismissed a US report that questioned the human rights record of its police and security forces, saying that the situation in the island nation is “better than most of the countries with five star democracies”.

Colombo’s reaction came after the State Department report alleged that “a number of suspects detained by police or other security forces died under questionable circumstances, there were several instances in which police were held accountable for unlawful killings”.

The report also cited that the Asian Human Rights Council (AHRC) had compiled 1500 cases of police torture between 1998 and 2001.

As of October 2011, the AHRC had received 102 reports of police torture.

Responding to the accusations, Lankan police spokesperson, Ajith Rohana told reporters that the police categorically rejects all charges.

Rohana said that Sri Lanka had adopted the Convention against torture and cruel inhuman or degrading Act in 1994.

“For the last 18 years, only five policemen had been found guilty, not even one per year. This rate is better than most of the countries with five star democracies”, Rohana said.

“There has not been a single case of disappearances after police arrest. People have legal redress for any such happening,” the spokesman said.

He said those arrested under Prevention of Terrorism Act from the former battle zones in the north and east were handled by three separate units.

In response to accusations that detainee information had not been made available, Rohana said such information has been released to the close relatives of the detainees.

On the charges of police assault at times of arrest, Rohana said that police may have used force when resisted arrest.

These incidents cannot be classified under torture and such cases are grossly exaggerated, he said.

“We have educated all policemen about international conventions and human rights. Training entails such awareness including legal positions,” Rohana said.

PTI

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    Police spokesperson & the Govt has no shame always lie & counter all accusations when brought against them, this habit followed by Politicians & their henchmen too, lying has become a way of life to all Sri-Lankans.

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    “Colombo’s reaction came after the State Department report alleged that “a number of suspects detained by police or other security forces died under questionable circumstances, there were several instances in which police were held accountable for unlawful killings”.

    We have all heard of the dreaded white vans, the kidnapping attempts, and botched kidnappings. There is a long list of journalists, activists, and anti government individuals who are missing and unaccounted for, to this day. Therefore it will not take long for these allegations to be proved. There are long lists of family members of these unfortunate victims, who want answers to their questions about their missing loved ones. There is also an obvious silence from the government to this horrible situation, and that silence could mean they are linked these crimes or they are hopelessly incompetent. The Rajapaksa’s have enough power to end these unlawful killings, and hold those responsible, accountable. Dismissing this Human Rights report by the Rajapaksa government in their usual manner, does not answer the obvious questions, it only shows the disregard the Sri Lankan government has shown for legitimate questions asked by Sri Lankan families who have lost a loved one to the brutalities of government officials. The Rajapaksa have become experts and dismissing and denying legitimate questions, in fact they are masters at it.

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    The victims and the general public ask, “so what is the international community and the HR bodies going to do about it? Will they allow this impunity to continue unabated? Is lawlessness the new-found system of governance?”

    No use in expecting justice from the culprit! International community please intervene and change this government and get the next government to inquire into these allegations! That is the only way you can do justice!

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    It is troubling that the report never mentions the Tangalle incident where the British tourist was killed and his Russian GF assaulted just after Christmas by a local politico. Had he been an american surely the incident would have been mentioned.

    Harshly dealing with suspected enemy combatants and their supporters as part of a counterinsurgency campaign is one thing, but allowing the well connected to murder and rape foreign tourists with apparent impunity is quite another. I call on the GOSL to help vitiate the damage done to the tourist industry by incidents like Tangalle by punishing the guilty parties just as severely as if they had been LTTE, regardless of their political or familial connections.

    The war took extraordinary measures that may have infringed on civil rights, but now that Sri Lanka has returned to a peaceful condition restoration of transparency and the rule of law is essential if foreign investment and tourism is to be attracted.

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