The Sunday Leader

Basic rights violated in Sri Lanka: Rights group

The Sri Lankan government has been accused of failing to advance justice and accountability for the victims of the country’s 30-year-long civil conflict.

A leading US based human rights group, in a statement sent to the Sri Lankan media on Monday, said that while Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged north and east became more open following the war, the government deepened repression of basic freedoms throughout the country.

“In 2011, accountability remained a dead issue, the media faced increasing censorship, and the long-standing grievances which led to the conflict were not seriously addressed,” Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch said in the statement. “Sri Lankans face a lack of justice, weak rule of law, land grabbing, and a censored media from a government that is increasingly authoritarian.”

Human Rights Watch released a 676-page report globally on Monday which looks at progress on human rights during the past year in more than 90 countries, including popular uprisings in the Arab world.

On Sri Lanka, the report said that the government’s failure to hold perpetrators of abuses accountable remained a key issue throughout the year. No one was prosecuted for atrocities committed during the conflict with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The report said that the government ignored the findings of a Panel of Experts report, commissioned by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which found rampant abuses by both government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels, and called for an independent international mechanism to investigate laws-of-war violations.

The government insisted instead that a local commission, the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) would be the mechanism to address wartime abuses.

“The abuses by government forces detailed in the UN Panel of Experts report are strangely missing in the LLRC’s findings,” Adams said in the statement to the media regarding Sri Lanka. “Even the LLRC’s useful recommendations seem destined to join those of other Sri Lankan commissions that got filed away and ignored.”

The report by Human Rights Watch said that the heavy military presence in the north and east of the country was a continuing source of distrust among the largely Tamil population.

“The government has barely made an effort to address the grievances of the Tamil population,” Adams said. “Instead of the government facilitating greater dialogue, Tamil political representatives are subject to threats and harassment.”

Allegations of mistreatment and torture in custody have not been investigated, Human Rights Watch added.

4 Comments for “Basic rights violated in Sri Lanka: Rights group”

  1. Raju

    The basic right for work and earning a living is being grssly violated in most of the Western countries. While the executives and owner mint money in the millions they have the covrdice to terminate ordinary workers without a recourse to any livelyhood. The freedoms are used to the advantage of culprits of many shades. One may find it so bizar to find so many in the UK without work, and so is every European country. America is not better.

  2. raj

    Robert Blake is not going to agree with you in order to support his friends.

  3. raj

    if there is no right, how can anyone violates non existing rights?

  4. ranjit de mel

    mr.adam, is it not good for people like you ,that there is h.r.v.please fight with all your might against h.r.v. ,but ofcource see to it it continues,because otherrwise you will be the looser,and you dont like it.many of you all are only humbugs and humbuging is good to make money,and to have a comfortable life.god bless you. ranjit demel berlin colombo

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