“Regarding disappearances, he said that there has been a long tradition of arrests and disappearances in Sri Lanka by people in civilian clothing. While ICRC has knowledge about a certain number of cases, most appear to be people abducted/arrested by either Tamil auxiliary forces or local authorities, not under order from central authorities, but connected to local political circumstances. On the other hand, there appears to have been no pattern of systematic disappearances during the GSL’s screening of the population that fled the fighting.”
The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The “Confidential” cable discuses what had happened on the ground during and since the conflict. The cable was signed by the US Ambassador to Geneva Clint Williamson on July 15, 2009.
After a meeting with Jacque de Maio, ICRC Head of Operations for South Asia on July 9, 2009, just two months after the war,the Ambassador wrote;”De Maio explained that ICRC has a fairly good network of people to whom family members report arrests/disappearances. In the cases of those who seem to disappear during screening, most of them turn up within days, and were three to five times more likely to be found if they received a report within twenty-four hours of disappearance. He believed that many incidents were driven by the GSL view that all civilians coming out of the Vanni were presumed guilty by the government. ICRC has been visiting regularly 11,400 people arrested and interned in 10 camps as suspected LTTE fighters.”
Other related stories to this cable;