Colombo Telegraph

Sri Lanka’s HR Successes Make Megre Reading

Successes of the Sri Lankan government in addressing human rights violations make megre reading as Presidential secretary Lalith Weeratunge  made a presentation to Geneva based diplomats on Sri Lanka’s progress on issues raised by the international community.

Addressing a gathering in Geneva on 21, January Weeratunge cited Army Courts of Inquiry into allegations of civilian casualties and the summary execution of captured persons as evidence of addressing serious concerns regarding the conduct of the military.

As of information available in the public domain the Army has found itself absolved of any wrong doing.

Meanwhile elaborating further Weeratunge boasted that a “Non summary investigation” has commenced in September 2013 in to the killing of five students in Trincomalee in January 2006. Weeratunge says that since September 2013, fourteen persons have given evidence to the inquiry and that the next siting is scheduled for March 2014.

It is interesting to note that the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, at that time enjoying a semblance of independence, in 2006 tasked a three person Commission to look into the same issue. The Commission concluded its findings in three months after carrying out a thorough investigation and submitted the report to the HRC in April of 2006, a mere four months since the tragic incident. The report which was not originally published by the HRC but eventually placed in the public domain by the Colombo Telegraph categorically found that the security forces personnel were responsible for the brutal slaying of the five students.

With regard to the killing of 17 aid workers in Muttur,  Weeratunge claims that a “Team of prosecutors are reviewing material and the CID conducting further investigations.” The incident took place nearly six years ago in August 2008.

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