28 September, 2020

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Raped And Tortured For Collecting The Names Of The Disappeared: ITJP

Young Tamil activists have been abducted, tortured and raped because of their involvement in the search for the truth about the disappeared in Sri Lanka. At least fifteen such victims have been granted refugee status in the UK alone since 2015.

“More than a decade after the war end, young Tamils, many of whom have siblings who disappeared in the war, have paid a terrible price for asking for the truth,”said the executive director of the International Truth and Justice Project, Yasmin Sooka. “On the International Day of the Disappeared, we remind the Sri Lankan state that it cannot continue to persecute and send white vans after those who just want to know what happened to their loved ones.”

The refugees in the UK were not prominent human rights figures – they were young people who collected names or helped with protests or assisted the families of the disappeared to register complaints. None had any idea of the grave risks they were taking – one said he was even told that because he was a teenager the army wouldn’t be interested in him. In detention they experienced brutal torture at the hands of the security forces, such as whipping of the soles of the feet, blows to sexual organs, cigarette burns, branding with a heated metal rod, water torture, asphyxiation,suspension in stress positions, mock executions and death threats, as well as rape, including gang rape.

“In the process of demanding justice, which they are entitled to, these families have been victimized multiple times – the responsibility lies fully with a State that has no interest in recovering the truth,” said Ms Sooka.

The ITJP’s Disappearance Website is a repository that contains the names and photographs of 340 Tamils who are alleged to have disappeared in state custody on or around the 18 May 2009. There are numerous eyewitness abroad who witnessed their surrender to the Sri Lankan Army.

Astonishingly military generals, including the current Army Commander, Shavendra Silva[1], who were present at the surrenders have never once been questioned even by the Office of Missing Persons[2] about their knowledge of what happened to the hundreds of people who disappeared, including 29 children. In May 2018, the ITJP wrote to the Office of Missing Persons saying the 18 May disappeared should be the first case they investigate and the first step would be to question military figures like Shavendra Silva and Jagath Jayasuriya[3] whom eyewitnesses say personally observed the 18 May surrenders.

“It is a travesty that hundreds of people[4] can disappear on one day in one location and after more than a decade nobody in the military has even been questioned. Instead those who demand justice are further victimised,” said Ms. Sooka.

“The international community now has a moral responsibility to the families who demanded justice, thinking there would be a transitional justice process. Instead of lining up to shake hands with politicians and generals to express their support for the new government, diplomats in Colombo should be photographed with the Families of the Disappeared and their brave lawyers to champion their quest for the truth and show their continued support,” she added.

Appallingly, displaying absolute contempt for the victims, the Media Minister, Kehilya Rambukwella, reportedly[5] said that the individuals in half of the complaints to the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) in Sri Lanka were actually living abroad. The OMP reported to the UN that it had 14,641 files on individuals and had received an additional 129 new complaints[6].

“The Minister needs to be called out for his unsubstantiated comments which constitute abuse of the Families of the Disappeared, whose interminable suffering is dismissed in the most callous and disrespectful fashion. How is it possible more than seven thousand people[7] went abroad and didn’t bother to contact their children or mothers? What purpose would it serve for families in Sri Lanka to report them missing when this just brings surveillance and harassment[8] from the authorities?” asked Ms. Sooka. (By ITJP)

[1] Designated in the USA: https://www.state.gov/public-designation-due-to-gross-violations-of-human-rights-of-shavendra-silva-of-sri-lanka-under-section-7031c-of-the-department-of-state-foreign-operations-and-related-programs-appropriations-a/

ITJP Dossier: http://www.itjpsl.com/reports/shavendra-silva

[2] 18 May 2018, ITJP Press release, https://itjpsl.com/assets/press/English-15-May-2018-Itjp-Press-release-Disappearance-Website-english.pdf

[3] Jagath Jayasuriya Latin America Case: https://itjpsl.com/reports/the-case-against-jagath-jayasuriya

[4] 12 Dec 2018, Joint Press Release with HRDAG, New study estimates 500 Tamils disappeared in Army custody in Sri Lanka after surrendering at the end of the war in 2009.

https://itjpsl.com/assets/press/12-December-2018-Press-release-with-HRDAG-copy.pdf

[5] http://www.tamilmirror.lk/பிரசித்த-செய்தி/The-missing-persons-can-not-be-searched/150-254744

[6] A/HRC/42/40/Add.1, 10 Sep 2019.

[7] Half of 14641+129.

[8] “However, the Working Group notes that civil society organisations do not appear to be aware of such commitments and is extremely concerned by continuing reports of surveillance, threats, intimidation, harassment of relatives of the disappeared and calls on the Government to take urgent action to address these, including investigation of previous and new cases and the prosecution of perpetrators.” WGEID, ibid, §9.

 

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Latest comments

  • 35
    20

    Ms.Sooka
    Drag these disgrace to our Nation of Noble Budhha way of life to Haque

  • 19
    37

    António Luís Santos da Costa
    Prime Minister of Portugal
    Dear Sir,
    During the time your people ruled Sinhale, they brought garb age from a nearby country and dumped in this country. Over the period of time this garb age has turned out to be toxic and becoming a serious threat to people in this country. Therefore, the people in Sri Lanka would like to request you to make arrangements to remove this garb age from this country before it cause further disasters.

    • 5
      14

      As a matter of interest did you know that the Portuguese PM is a Goan? Yes, Portugal has a Black prime minister. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant%C3%B3nio_Costa

      • 9
        0

        Stanley
        Thanks.
        António Costa’ is half Goan (as his father Orlando da Costa was not quite Indian, as Goa was an overseas province of Portugal in his time).
        That will make him Asian, but not Black. (Even Asians with skin darker than that of many Blacks resent being called Black.)
        *
        Interestingly, Orlando da Costa joined the Portuguese Communist Party in 1954, during the dictatorial regime of Oliveira Salazar, when the Party was still outlawed.

      • 2
        8

        Interesting, eight negatives for a neutral comment. Diaspora on form tonight. Clowns still dreaming of Eelam.

  • 27
    10

    For the classless uncouth military forces of this sad sorry shitty nation harming a Tamil is a sadistic pleasure.
    #
    The cursed war began in the ’70s, before that the Sinhala youth who brought Sirimavo Banda’s SLFP government into power rebelled against her government on the 5th APRIL 1971 for not honouring the various promises made to them during the period of the election.
    #
    Since 1956, the quality of the calibre of the officer cadets has drastically dropped due to the swabasha policies where all the Yakko nitwits from the lower strata of society were gleefully recruited.
    #
    Even the Kalla kallathoni of a war criminal so-called ninja of a nincompoop president who’s till to today is all fart and no shit. A big talker.
    #
    Now he along with his other incompetent impotent military comrades are shitting in their amudes afraid of appearing before the ICC [ International Criminal Court }
    #
    Whether they like it or not they will be taken into custody and as a proud Lankan exported to the Hauge to face trial for their atrocious deliberate lowest of the villainous doings.
    #
    Till this occurs the affected Tamil’s must be united and pool all their energies to bring these low-class criminals to book.

    • 7
      26

      rj1952,
      After Sinhale got Independence, it was descendants of Dravida slaves brought by Portuguese and dumped in Yapanaya who started harming Native Sinhalayo. All racial riots that killed Sinhalayo were started by ‘Para’ Demalu in Yapanaya. So, ‘Para’ Demalu must have harmed Sinhalayo for sadistic pleasure because there was no other justifiable reason for them to harm Sinhalayo.
      Instead of harming Sinhalayo, Demalu should have been eternally grateful to Sinhalayo who gave them citizenship in this paradise island after colonial parasites who brought them ran away abandoning them in Sinhale.
      —-
      “For the classless uncouth military forces of this sad sorry shitty nation harming a Tamil is a sadistic pleasure.”

      • 13
        5

        Eagle shit, who came by kallathoni to this island as terrorists? It was your Vijaya and his rowdies. This rowdyism is still in your sinahala blood. This is genetic hereditary, nobody can change it, unless otherwise covid-19 takes a strong stand.

      • 3
        6

        Don’t worry after 50 years Sri Lanka 85% Sinhalese, same as Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and South Africa)

  • 24
    1

    This will not bother the Rajapaksa supporters. They have accepted the corruption, the journalists being harassed, threatened, kidnapped and killed, unarmed civilians being killed for protesting contaminated waters (contaminated by a business owned by one of their cronies), the racist monks spreading fear and hatred, and the resulting attacks on Muslims, and the nepotism that prevails. We must be the only country that has two brothers running the country (is this “democracy). Banana Republic.

    It is unfortunate that the Tamils have been discriminated and NO justice has been served to those who killed, raped, and treated unarmed civilians inhumanely, and the guilty will ALWAYS obstruct investigations, and protect the criminals responsible for thousands of victims, but since we have seen the return of the Rajapaksa’s, it shows the voters do not give a damn. Why should they, it was not their loved ones that were killed, raped, or tortured, and in their eyes their “wonderful” Rajapaksa’s got rid of terrorism, and the ends justify the means. They prefer to not notice the blood that stains all their filthy hands.

    • 8
      25

      Ashan,
      Why should Sinhalayo bother about Demalu who died due to stupidity of LTTE leader megalomaniac Piripakaran?
      —-
      “Why should they, it was not their loved ones that were killed, raped, or tortured,”
      Dumbo, where the hell you lived all this time, in Mars or Jupiter? If you lived in this planet you should know that LTTE Tamil terrorist barbarians killed, raped and tortured Sinhalayo for three decades.

      • 16
        4

        With every comment you show that your mother did a bad job at parenting. Responding to comments with insults means you have nothing intelligent to say, and must go down to gutter level.

      • 13
        5

        Eagle shit, you are writing just the the opposite of what your barbaric forces did during the 30 years of war, you fu…g idiot.

        • 2
          8

          Velu learn something from Ashan. With every comment you show that your mother did a bad job at parenting. Responding to comments with insults means you have nothing intelligent to say, and must go down to gutter level.

    • 19
      4

      Racism, Corruption, Murder, and the recycling of drugs taken to custody is a way of life in Srilanka.

  • 19
    3

    “Appallingly, displaying absolute contempt for the victims, the Media Minister, Kehilya Rambukwella reportedly ……………….The Minister needs to be called out for his unsubstantiated comments which constitute abuse of the Families ……………..What purpose would it serve for families in Sri Lanka to report them missing when this just brings surveillance and harassment [8] from the authorities?” asked Ms. Sooka.
    This rowdy, Rambo is not just drunkard, but his child too is carrying his gene. It is the family’s trait. He fell from hotel and spent the tax payers’ money. Then Puththa broke the plane door and paid tax payers’ money to settle with Air Line. Now he is saying all the missing persons have gone to abroad so there is no need to any investigation or settlement. Then how is this drunkard is going to understand other families’ pain? It is because of this man’s filthy mouth Aanduwa appointed him as media minister.

  • 2
    6

    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

  • 3
    8

    Yes it’s that time of year for Sooka and the idiot diaspora to start protesting. Look forward to the same performance in 2021.

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