Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

Home Whats New  Trans State Nation  One World Unfolding Consciousness Comments Search
Home > Tamils - a Trans State Nation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Indictment against Sri Lanka > Sri Lanka's Shadow War '02 to '07: Introduction & Index > the Record Speaks....

The Charge is Ethnic Cleansing

Sri Lanka's Undeclared War on Eelam Tamils
...in the Shadow of the Ceasefire: 2002 - 2007

SRI LANKA: 20 forced disappearances reported in December 2005

The BBC Sinhala Service revealed today a report by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) stating that enquiries are ongoing regarding 20 complaints of forced disappearances that are alleged to have taken place during the month of December 2005.

The HRCSL's director of Investigations and Inquiries has been quoted as saying that "some of these people have been abducted while on their way to work, while others have been abducted in the night." He is further quoted as saying that the Commission has not been able to establish who is responsible for the abductions.

Meanwhile, the defense authorities are quoted as having accepted that they have not been in compliance with the regulations requiring them to inform the HRCSL of arrests made under the Emergency Regulations. The Inspector General of Police has reportedly agreed to reinforce measures to safeguard the rights of those who are arrested under the Emergency Regulations.

In recent decades, Sri Lanka has had one of the worst records in the world concerning forced disappearances. In 1971, around 10,000 persons disappeared in the south of the country. Between 1987 and 1991, over 30,000 disappeared in the south, and since the early 1980s there have been constant disappearances in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The exact number of such disappearances remains unknown.

Past experience dictates that forced disappearance in Sri Lanka entails the killing of persons following arrest. The arrests are performed secretly, so as to circumvent legal safeguards and to prevent any traces of evidence being left concerning the abduction and any further ill-treatment. As a result, in the cases of about 30,000 disappearances in the south between 1987 and 1991, it has not been possible to prosecute anyone, as the evidential trail has been carefully destroyed to ensure that no form of legal accountability can be enforced. There have also been abductions by non-state actors, particularly in the north and east of the country. In such instances, it is even more difficult to trace the disappeared.

Given the current circumstances, it is imperative to establish safeguards and mechanisms for the immediate receipt of complaints of forced disappearances and for prompt and impartial inquiries to be launched. These should include effective legal assistance for the filing of habeas corpus applications in courts and the quick adjudication of such applications.

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka should publish the names of all persons who are supposed to have been disappeared, to better inform the country about this matter and to enable all concerned persons to take appropriate measures to deal with such disappearances, including interventions with UN bodies that deal with disappearances and related issues.

We urge the Sri Lankan government to make a policy statement highlighting the government's commitment to prevent all forced disappearances, to investigate all cases of disappearances and to prosecute all perpetrators irrespective of rank, position or political affiliation. Regardless of the intensification of the "ethnic conflict" there can be no justification for allowing disappearances to take place. Unless immediate measures are taken at this stage, the terrible experiences of the recent past may again become reality in Sri Lanka.

We also urge all UN agencies and the international community, notably the European Union, to take serious measures and express their concern to the Sri Lankan government in order to ensure that the occurrence of forced disappearances is brought to an end.



Mail Us Copyright 1998/2009 All Rights Reserved Home