“Father Bernard also told us of an EPDP medical doctor named Dr. Sinnathambi, who performs forced abortions, often under the guise of a regular check-up, on Tamil women suspected of being aligned with the LTTE.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.
The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “SECRET” and discuses Sri Lanka’s paramilitary operations. The cable was written by the Ambassador Robert O. Blake on May 18, 2007.
We publish below the relevant part of the cable;
VZCZCXRO9322 OO RUEHBI RUEHLMC DE RUEHLM #0728/01 1380922 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 180922Z MAY 07 FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6072 INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0407 RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 0115 RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 7096 RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 5189 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3756 RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0973 RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 3828 RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 1087 RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2907 RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 7682 RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 5363 RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0209 RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRIORITY RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2046 RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 06 COLOMBO 000728 SIPDIS SIPDIS DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS MCC FOR S GROFF, D TETER, D NASSIRY AND E BURKE E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/18/2017 TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PHUM MOPS CE SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: GSL COMPLICITY IN PARAMILITARY FACTIONS' HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES REF: A. COLOMBO 591 ¶B. COLOMBO 561 ¶C. COLOMBO 463 ¶D. COLOMBO 460 ¶E. 2006 COLOMBO 2056 ¶F. 2006 COLOMBO 1896 ¶G. 2005 COLOMBO 2157 ¶H. 2004 COLOMBO 1219 Classified By: Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Jr., for reasons 1.4(b, d) ¶1. (S) SUMMARY: Allegations of government complicity in crimes committed by organized paramilitary groups have mounted in the last year. Paramilitaries such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)-breakaway Karuna group and Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) have helped the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) to fight the LTTE, to kidnap suspected LTTE collaborators, and to give the GSL a measure of deniability. The GSL, which denies any links to paramilitary groups, has recently touted its efforts to improve its human rights record, such as the re-publication of procedures on arrests and detentions and the appointment of a "One-Man Commission" to investigate reported disappearances (ref C). However, these efforts so far appear aimed more at improving Sri Lanka's image abroad and have yet to produce concrete improvements in the human rights situation. Outside the capital, the incidence of human rights abuses has continued, including extrajudicial killings, abductions, child trafficking, extortion, and prostitution. President Rajapaksa's government, strapped for cash, has cut direct payments to paramilitaries initiated by former President Kumaratunga and instead turns a blind eye to extortion and kidnapping for ransom by EPDP and Karuna. While many of the charges against the government have been made in public fora, a growing number of trusted Embassy contacts, often at personal risk, have described in detail the extent of the GSL's involvement with paramilitary groups. END SUMMARY.
Extra-Judicial Killings with the Military's Support --------------------------------------------- ------ ¶15. (S) Working in concert with SLA soldiers stationed in the Jaffna peninsula, the EPDP is able to conduct extortion, abductions, extra-judicial killings and other criminal acts without fear of consequences, according to numerous sources. On April 20, Catholic priest Father Bernard (strictly protect) told us about EPDP's involvement in extra-judicial killings in Jaffna. Independently, on April 24, Jaffna Government Agent Ganesh (strictly protect) confirmed much of Father Bernard's account. He explained that when the EPDP intends to kill a target, they first provide notice to the military. The number of soldiers patrolling the streets of Jaffna (40,000 total on the peninsula) is such that there are literally soldiers stationed at every street corner. At an agreed time, all of the soldiers in the designated area take a five to ten minute "break" at once (although the normal practice is to take breaks in shifts). At that point, armed and masked gunmen, often riding on motorcycles, race down the street and assassinate the intended victim. Shortly after the killing, the soldiers' break over, they return to their posts to deal with the aftermath. While police investigations are common, they almost never lead to arrests. Father Bernard also told us of an EPDP medical doctor named Dr. Sinnathambi, who performs forced abortions, often under the guise of a regular check-up, on Tamil women suspected of being aligned with the LTTE.
Related posts to this cable;