The Sunday Leader

Army Rejects ICG Claims


  • Report claims North-East women abused

By Maryam Azwer

The military has rejected a report which claims that women in the north and east have faced, and are continuing to face, an increased sense of insecurity despite the war having ended.
A report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) titled Sri Lanka: Women’s Insecurity in the North and East, explores the issues faced by women both under the LTTE and in more recent times.
Although acknowledging the hardships and violence faced by these women while under the LTTE rule, the ICG has also claimed that, since the end of the war, they have been exposed to discrimination, harassment, gender-based violence, and in some cases, even rape.
While the ICG states that “there is no effective means to track, understand and respond to what is happening to these women,” it has also suggested that this insecurity can be attributed at least partly to the military presence in the North and East.
To add to this, the ICG has also accused the state of displaying indifference towards this issue.
“The government’s indifference to this insecurity and the international community’s failures thus far to address it head on – especially more than two years since the fighting has ended – are contributing to Sri Lanka’s worrying post-war path,” the ICG said.
The report also contains accounts of harassment and sexual abuse that women and girls have allegedly faced at the hands of the military since the war ended.
As a result of this, women in the North and East continue to face problems, claims the ICG report, released on December 20: “The heavily militarised and centralised control of the north and east – with almost exclusively male, Sinhalese security forces – raises particular problems for women there in terms of their safety, sense of security and ability to access assistance.”
When contacted for a response to the allegations made against the military forces, Military Spokesperson, Brigadier Nihal Hapuarachchi, said that although he was aware of the statements made by the ICG, this issue of increased insecurity had never been directly reported to the military.
“We do not feel that there is an insecurity issue,” he said, adding that, “If there is a person responsible for such things, we can take stern action… but this issue was not taken up with us, it was not discussed with us, so we cannot take any action.”
Meanwhile, the ICG also says that serious disturbing social factors have come to light. “There have been alarming incidents of gender-based violence, including domestic violence within the Tamil community, in part fuelled by rising alcohol use by men. Many women have been forced into prostitution or coercive sexual relationships. Some have also been trafficked within the country and abroad. Pregnancies among teenagers have increased,” the report states.
The ICG in its report has also laid out several recommendations, to not just the Sri Lankan Government, but also to Sri Lanka’s international partners, and the UN and member states, to combat this reported state of insecurity.
Among the recommendations made to the state are; a call for reducing military presence in the north and east, devolving power to local bodies, reforming police presence in these areas and reducing restrictions on the operations of humanitarian and civil society groups.

5 Comments for “Army Rejects ICG Claims”

  1. Asitha

    Start reading from the last para…….. The objectives……….. They do not want these issues to be over………….Division of the country and never ending war ………………the ultimate goal……….

  2. suren soysa

    This cock & bull story of the ICG is another trump card played by the Terrorist minded diaspora. All these international scavengers begin by firstly blaming the LTTE period. What the silly ICG claim, was present in North & east even 50 years ago & thanks to the LTTE presence for 30 years, the figures have jumped in leaps & bounds! It is certainly not due to the presence of forces & the forces will be there forever. These crisis groups are carrion eaters, their survival depends on crisis’ es.

  3. cabs

    Amnesty International has taken $50,000 from Canadian LTTE terrorist diaspora recently. This ICG and most of NGO funded by blood money of ruthless racist terrorits LTTE.

  4. Lt. Samptha Lakmal

    The truth is that Sri Lanka is a despotic state where murder rape an violence continue unabated, reality is Srilankan Academics own statement that Sri lanka is a police state, having ‘democratic’ in any wordring describing Sri lanka is hypocrisy.

  5. Roshan

    I cannot yet understand what on earth these do gooders are trying achieve , the crazy AI, the know it all do as we say HRW and these ICG LOOSers? Why are these people filling pages after pages with such rubbish when the countries these are intend to be fr are not even bothered?

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