AGAINST SRI LANKA
SRI LANKA'S WEAPON OF
The Sri Lanka authorities torture so that Sri Lanka may succeed
in its efforts to conquer the Tamil homeland and impose its
alien Sinhala rule on the Tamil people -a Tamil people, who by
their free vote at the
General Elections in 1977 had given a clear mandate for the
establishment of an independent Tamil Eelam - a Tamil people who
speak a language different to that of the Sinhala people; who
trace their origins to roots different to that of the
Sinhala people; and who by their suffering and sacrifice
have given expression to their will to be free from rule by a
permanent Sinhala majority within the confines of an
unitary Sri Lankan constitutional structure. The short point
that emerges from the 30 year proven record of torture by the
Sri Lanka authorities is that Sri Lanka cannot impose its rule
on the Tamil homeland without recourse to terror. If it
could, it would have."
உண்மைகள் ஒருபோதும் உறங்குவதில்லை,
Truth never sleeps - and it should not....
Sri Lanka Authorities Complicit in
Widespread Torture - Asian Human Rights Commission , 26 June 2009
"The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is
recognised annually on the 26th June. It is a day devoted to the promotion
of the idea of a torture-free world. It is also a day on which the previous
achievements in any particular country to eliminate torture can be
evaluated. From that point of view for Sri Lanka the practice of torture,
instead of being reduced has only increased... In all likelihood Sri Lanka
will remain a torture land, through and through in the coming year too. "
widespread in Sri Lanka - United Nations Special Rapporteur, 30 October 2007
torture in Sri Lanka
as addressed at the 35th Session of the UN
Committee Against Torture, November 2005
Systematic and widespread police torture in Sri Lanka says Asian Legal Resource
Centre, October 2005
Tamil Youth tortured
in Jaffna police station, August 2004
Tamil Escapee details 18-year detention, torture in STF camp, April 2004
Endemic torture and the collapse of policing in Sri Lanka' says
Asian Legal resource Center, March 2004
"The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) has today released its
second special report on torture by the police in Sri Lanka. Entitled
'Endemic torture and the collapse of policing in Sri Lanka', the 100-page report
is published in the latest edition of article 2 (February 2004, vol. 3, no. 1).
"What we are emphasising in this second report is that the
gruesome torture still being practiced in police stations across Sri Lanka
indicates the almost total breakdown in policing in the country," remarks Basil
Fernando, Executive Director of ALRC. "To describe policing in Sri Lanka as
being in crisis would be to understate the current situation; it is nearing
collapse," continues Fernando. "That an officer who has forced a TB sufferer to
spit into the mouth of another detainee can continue in service despite
widespread knowledge of what he has done speaks to an organisational disaster,
and its utter degradation in the eyes of the public." The report describes
31 recent cases of torture or killing by the police of 29 police stations in Sri
Lanka, involving 46 victims, all of whom appear to have been innocents."
Torture reports persist as Sri
Lankan forces escape justice says UN Human Rights Committee - November 2003
"The committee remains concerned at persistent reports of
torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees by
law enforcement officials and members of the armed forces," the
UN Human Rights Committee said in its report on Sri Lanka.
It found that "very few" police or army officers had been punished on charges of
abduction or torture since the ceasefire last year and urged authorities to
promptly investigate allegations of crime against the army or police."
Sri Lanka Army, Police torture
Balasingham Daiyaniharan - hung by feet and beaten, October 2003
Mutur Tamil youths complain of torture by Navy soldiers, June 2003
Sri Lanka Special Task Force violates ceasefire & tortures Yogarajah
Kanthakumar, May 2003
Lanka justice system conducive to torturers - Asian Legal Resource Centre
(ALRC) at 59th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, April 2003
'Torture continues despite laws' June 2002
"...Almost in every household in the Trincomalee district
there would be a complaint of disappearance. Torture still continues in the
island..." "Freedom from torture is a universal and fundamental human right for
all and guaranteed under national and international laws. But acts of torture
are committed against men, women and children every day."
'Torture will persist unless draconian provisions of Emergency
Regulations and Prevention of Terrorism Act are removed ' - UN
International Day - Victims of Torture in Trincomalee, June 2001
Force tortures Ponnappapillai Sivanesan in Mannar, June 2001
Tamil people denied fundamental right of freedom from torture for more than 25
years, May 2001
Tortured Jaffna youth petitions Supreme Court, May 2001
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on Wednesday granted leave to
proceed on a fundamental rights petition filed by a Jaffna youth who is being
held in the Boosa prison, south of Colombo.
The youth, Selvarajah Thamilchelvan of Pattarakalli koviladi,
Thavadi South, Kokuvil, Jaffna states in his petition that he was hung upside
down and severely tortured while in the custody of the Terrorism Investigation
Division of the Police. Thamilchelvan said that TID officers repeatedly burnt
his hands with cigarettes and covered his head with a plastic bag soaked in
petrol while he was beaten with wires and poles. The medico-legal report
on Thamilchelvan states there are seven scars on his body, two of which are 14
cm 16 cm long and two 10 cm long.
Government attitudes contribute to rape & torture -Sampanthan, April 2001
"It would be pertinent to raise the question as to whether
pugnacious statements made by persons in high positions and the expressed
determination of the Government to continue with the war, contributes towards
the unleashing of brutality such as rape and torture on unarmed Tamil civilians
particularly Tamil females. It would appear that some service personnel think
that if a Tamil is implicated even falsely with the LTTE any crime can be
committed against such Tamil person"
Torture of a Tamil Girl from Kayts, March 2001
"Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court this week granted leave to proceed
with the fundamental rights petition of a Tamil girl from Kayts in Jaffna who
says Policemen tortured her in detention by repeatedly inserting a plantain
flower soaked in chilli powder into her vagina. The girl who is currently
being held in the Negombo remand prison states in her petition to the Supreme
Court that she was hung on a pole inserted between her thighs and arms which
had been tied together below the knee and that her body was made to swing in
that she was hung from the roof and battered with a cudgel; that Policemen
tortured her by pricking under her finger and toe nails with paper pins until
she bled; that she was mercilessly assaulted with poles and wires and
trampled with boots. The girl also states in her petition that although she had
appealed to the Human Rights Commission and the Presidential Committee on
Unlawful Arrests and Harassment, they had not taken any action regarding her
Torture of Mariyathas Mary Sharmila and Shanmugam Sharmila, December 2000
Reports on Continuing Torture, July 2000
"Far from complying with its
obligations under international human rights law, however, the Sri Lankan
government has instead further eroded the human rights guaranteed in
international human rights treaties with the emergency regulations promulgated
on 3 May 2000 and their subsequent amendments. ...
Since the introduction of the new emergency regulations, there has been an
increase in the number of reports of torture. In addition, the methods of the
torture reported appear to have become more severe than before and there have
been at least two reports of detainees dying in custody as a result of
International issued yet another Urgent Action appeal on Torture, June 2000
"Amirthalingam Amuthini may have been tortured in police
custody, and remains in serious danger. She was arrested by police officers of
the Security Co-ordinating Unit (SCU) in Vavuniya on 30 May, who took her from
her home in Shanthasolai to the SCU office in Vavuniya town. The SCU is a police
unit involved in interrogating suspected members of the armed opposition group
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Her mother, aged 65, has been allowed
to visit her once, but they were not allowed to speak. Amirthalingam Amuthini
reportedly had injuries to her right hand, and could not lift her arm. "
Torture of Yogalingam Vijitha - Supreme Court Finding, June 2000
"...By way of conclusion, the Assistant Judicial Medical
Officer found that:
a. There is positive medical evidence of vaginal penetration.
There is positive evidence of pelvic sepsis with endometriosis.
c. She has many scars on her limbs and torso.
d. She has features of
post traumatic disorder.
a. Vaginal penetration by the insertion of plantain flower is possible.
b. Pelvic sepsis with endometriosis could have followed by the insertion
of the plantain flower as conclusively suggested by the Consultant
Radiologist. The frequency of urination and irregular menstrual period could
have been the result of the physical, psychological and sexual violence that
she underwent while in custody.
c. The symptoms of post traumatic
disorder and depression could have resulted from physical and mental trauma
that she underwent while in custody.
d. The causation of the original
injuries and resultant scars could have been sustained in the manner
described in the history given by the prisoner.
The medical opinion,
in my view, amply corroborates the petitioner’s version in regard to the
injuries caused and their causation. As Athukorala J in Sudath Silva Vs.
Kodituwakku 1987 2 SLR 119 observed, “the facts of this case has revealed
disturbing features regarding third degree methods adopted by certain Police
Officers on suspects held in police custody. Such methods can only be
described as barbaric, savage and inhuman. They are most revolting and
offends one’s sense of human decency and dignity, particularly at the
present time when every endeavor is being made to promote and protect human
detainees sexually abused & tortured by Sri Lanka authorities says study in
British Medical Journal, Lancet, June 2000
"...Of the 184 men, 38 (21%) said they had been sexually
abused during their detention. Three (7%) of the 38 said they had been given
electric shocks to their genitals, 26 (68%) had been assaulted on their
genitals, and four (9%) had sticks pushed through the anus, usually with
chillies rubbed on the stick first. One said he had been forced to masturbate a
soldier manually, three had been made to masturbate soldiers orally, and one had
been forced with his friends to rape each other in front of soldiers for their
Urgent Action Appeal against Torture, June 2000
"Amnesty International issued a new urgent action appeal on 8
June 2000 [AI Index: ASA 37/15/00] on torture and extra judicial killing by the
Sri Lanka authorities. The text of the appeal was as follows: Sinnathamby
Pradeepan - Poopalaratnam Arulramesh - Gunasekaran Sathiyaseelan - Samithamby
Eswaran - Ganesh Chandrakanthan (killed) Police have arrested five young men on
suspicion of involvement with the armed opposition group Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE). One is known to have died in custody, and the others are
believed to have been severely tortured.... Background: Torture has been
widespread in Sri Lanka for many years. Amnesty International has obtained many
testimonies of torture, corroborated by medical certificates. Many of the recent
reports of torture are linked to the conflict between the security forces and
Special Rapporteur on Torture says torture is committed with impunity in Sri
Lanka, April 2000
"In April, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture expressed concern
over continuing torture in Sri Lanka. The Rapporteur says that persons arrested
on suspicion of being a member of the LTTE are being tortured and unauthorised
places of detention, specially in Jaffna and Vavuniya, continue to be used.
Prisoners held here are allegedly beaten, administered electric shocks, have
petrol poured on their back and lit and are bitten by dogs on their private
parts. The Rapporteur further says torture is committed with impunity and
despite the enactment of the Torture Act in 1995, no one has been convicted."
appeals yet again on torture by Sri Lanka authorities, September 1999
"Sri Ram, student Anthonipillai Binoth Vimalraj,
Sivagnanasunderam Sri Kanthan (28) - The three young Tamil men named above have
been severely tortured in police custody in the capital, Colombo. All three may
be in urgent need of medical attention.
Sri Ram has been severely assaulted by police at Mirihana
police station. A final year student at the Open University, he was arrested on
25 August 1999 ...Eight other students arrested by the Mirihana police have
since been released: two of them were badly tortured, and have scars from being
beaten on their backs and hung up by their wrists.
Anthonipillai Binoth Vimalraj, originally from Mannar, was arrested on 24 August
at New Asia lodge. During interrogation at Kotahena police station he was
allegedly beaten all over his body, had pins inserted under his fingernails and
had an iron rod inserted into his anus."
Rights Violations continue despite hundreds of letters to President Kumaratunga,
"...Human rights violations in the east continue despite
hundreds of letters from local MPs to President Chandrika and government
ministers. Soldiers brutally assaulted 19 year-old Nithiyananthan Suthakaran
near Mavadivembu Army camp on 18 June. He was admitted to the hospital in a
serious condition. His mother and his sister Krishnaveni were also beaten up. In
a letter to President Chandrika, Batticaloa MP Joseph Pararajasingham has
demanded action against the soldiers..."
continues to report - and Sri Lanka continues to torture, June 1999
"Torture by the security forces is reported almost daily in
the context of their ongoing armed conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam (LTTE), who are fighting for an independent state, Eelam, in the north and
east....In spite of existing legal safeguards, torture continues to be committed
with relative impunity. Only a handful of cases against police officers are
reportedly pending in the courts, and so far no one has been convicted for
In October 1997, the JMO in Colombo who examined Sinnarasa
Anthonymala, a girl from Jaffna who had been arrested by the navy in July 1995
when she was 15 years old, found evidence of 46 wounds on her body. When Amnesty
International interviewed Anthonymala during a visit to Sri Lanka in 1996, she
explained how she was held naked and taken for interrogation by the navy up to
three times per day throughout the period of her stay at the Kankesanthurai navy
camp. She was tortured by being hung upside down and beaten on her legs,
burnt with cigarettes, given electric shocks and burnt with heated metal rods.
After she was transferred to the custody of the CID in Colombo, she was further
tortured including by being cut in the back of the neck, hit in the mouth and on
the legs with a piece of wood. The JMO in his report of 20 November 1997 to the
High Court found “all scars [to be] over 6 months old and consistent with those
of healed injuries sustained in 1995".
Lanka Supreme Court finds that Nesarasa Sivakumar was tortured... April 1999
"..The petitioner claims that, while he was kept at the
Counter Subversive Unit, Batticaloa, he was tortured in the following manner
and forced to sign certain documents:
a. By being beaten with wooden
b. Kicked on his chest and abdomen;
c. A shopping bag containing
petrol and chillie powder being placed on his head;
d. being immersed in water till he suffocated;
e. burnt with
cigarette butts ;
f. penis and scrotum being pulled and squeezed . .."
International Peace Bureau condemns torture by Sri Lanka, April 1999
"It is sometimes assumed that in the South of the island
Tamils enjoy their fundamental freedoms and rights. However this is far from the
true picture. Arbitrary arrest and torture are routine. "
in custody continues to remain a major problem says British Refugee Council Sri
Lanka Monitor, February 1999
"Torture in custody continues to remain a major problem. Tamil
trader M Jeganathan, 46, and M Masilamani, 52, were released by the Badulla High
Court in January after evidence of torture was confirmed by the government
Judicial Medical Officer. They were arrested in June 1997 in Demodara.
The torture methods included assault with plastic pipes and batons, burning with
cigarettes and covering the head with plastic bags dipped in petrol.
Confessions were extracted from them under threat of torture. Jaffna resident
Somasundaram Sivanesan, 42, says in a fundamental rights application to the
Supreme Court that after arrest in October 1997 by the police Counter Subversive
Unit (CSU), he was brutally assaulted and nails were inserted into the soles of
continues says British Refugee Council Sri Lanka Monitor, December 1998
Colombo Human Rights agency, the Forum for Human :Dignity
(FHD) says in a letter to the Committee of Inquiry into Undue Arrest and
Detention (CIAUD), that a young Tamil woman repatriated from France is
suffering torture at the Kotahena suburb police station. Muthuthamby
Vanitha, was arrested on 19 November in a Kotahena lodge. The agency has
appealed to the authorities to produce Ms Vanitha before the courts.
In a fundamental rights application to the Supreme Court, Hill
Country farmer Somasundaram Shanmugarajah says he is suffering brutal
torture at the Nuwara Eliya police Counter Subversive Unit (CSU). Mr
Shanmugarajah was arrested at Ragala, nine miles north-east of Nuwara Eliya, on
10 October 1998.
is standard procedure in detention says Asia Pacific Centre for Justice and
Peace, December 1998
"My discussion of torture will be focused on the East of Sri Lanka, since
that is primarily where I did my research. I learned that the usual pattern of
detention continues, in that
torture is considered a widespread and standard procedure in detention. Laws
regarding proper arrest procedures are still not being followed. I learned that
the five main methods of torture in the east are a dry submarine, the placing of
a bag soaked in petrol over the detainee's head; a wet submarine, the
submerging of the detainee under water; the beating of the heels of the
detainee; the hanging of the detainee by his thumbs; and the beating of the
detainee with a dried bull's penis. In addition to this, I also personally
encountered and heard reports of detainees having their knee caps
dislocated, their arms or legs cut off, becoming deaf after having a pen rammed
in their ears, and blind after being beaten on the back of the head. I learned
that "tougher" officers are routinely sent to the East......"
Cases of Sinnarasa Anthony Mala & Loius Rama - Torture, Sri Lanka Style...
"The Judicial Medical Officer's
(JMO) report found 46 injuries on her person.
She was compelled under torture to sign a statement of being a member of the
LTTE's Black Tiger suicide squad. Though released when Colombo High Court Judge
Mahanama Tillekeratne exonerated her of all charges, he continues to stay at
Welikade prison. The reason being that hailing from Jaffna, she has nowhere to
stay in Colombo in safety. Mala was released on October 6, 1998. "
Continues reports British Refugee Council Sri Lanka Monitor, October 1998
"Batticaloa student Ehamparam Damayanthi, 17, accused of
failing to provide information about the LTTE to the authorities was released in
late October (1998) by a High Court, after evidence of the Government Judicial
Medical Officer confirmed her torture in custody. Ms Damayanthi was arrested in
Batticaloa in April 1996 and the case against her was based on a confession,
which the court said had not been made voluntarily. Human rights agencies
visiting Sri Lanka in October found evidence of widespread torture."
Urgent Action Appeal against Torture of Tamil in custody, August 1998
"There are serious concerns for Thambirajah Kamalathasan, a
Tamil man from Chunnakam, Jaffna, who was subjected to torture for several days
following his arrest by police on 15 July 1998 in the capital, Colombo.Two
witnesses saw Thambirajah Kamalathasan being assaulted with a rod at Pettah
police station. Chili powder was reportedly rubbed into his eyes and his
genitals were squeezed. After two or three days he had difficulty
walking. One of his legs was apparently swollen below the knee."
returnees tortured says British Refugee Council Sri Lanka Monitor, July 1998
"Young Tamil men originally from the north-east suspected of
LTTE links are especially at risk of being tortured. Although Sri Lanka acceded
to the Convention against Torture in 1994, broad powers of arrest and detention
given to the security forces by the current security legislation contribute to
human rights violations, including torture. In addition, torture is
facilitated by widespread impunity of perpetrators, as no one has been
charged for torture despite a number of judicial decisions..."
- Sri Lanka's 20 Year Record - Nadesan Satyendra, June 1998
"..A quick tour of the record will prove that
during the past twenty years and more, torture has been carried out in a
systematic, deliberate and sustained manner by the Sri Lanka authorities. And,
notwithstanding earnest appeals by organisations such as Amnesty, 'business has
gone on, very much as usual'...The short point that emerges from the 20 year
proven record of torture by the Sri Lanka authorities is that Sri Lanka cannot
impose its rule on the Tamil homeland without recourse to terror. If it
could, it would have."
and ill-treatment in army and police custody widespread, says Amnesty, June 1998
"Torture and ill-treatment in army and police custody were
widespread. Kumaru Selvaratnam was arrested in March on suspicion of involvement
with the LTTE. During the first eight days of his detention at Slave Island
police station in Colombo, he was assaulted with a broomstick. He suffered
injury to the testicles as a result of which they had to be surgically removed.
In Jaffna, torture was widespread. Methods included near-suffocation with
plastic bags filled with petrol; beatings with wire and plastic pipes; electric
shocks; and suspension by the thumbs or ankles..."
Tamil in custody proved in Supreme Court, October 1997
"..Mohanadas was hung by his
legs and tortured. His eye sight is affected after his head was covered with a
plastic bag dipped in petrol. A confession had been obtained from him against
his will, written in the Sinhala language which he does not understand. The
police had filed several cases against him based on the confession..."
& torture of Tamils - continues with impunity, July 1997 - British
" Jaffna student R Pragalathan says in a fundamental
rights application that after his arrest at Bambalapitiya suburb on 7 January
pins were inserted under his nails and when he refused to sign a confession was
brutally assaulted. Another Jaffna student G
Balakumar, currently in Colombo Magazine prison, also suffered torture at the
Joseph camp in Vavuniya after his arrest in June 1996.... In mid-July the
Supreme Court also ordered the release of five Tamils arrested in Jaffna in late
1996 and early 1997, including 14 year-old student A Ashok, who had all suffered
severe torture in custody. Another detainee Davis
Aloysius arrested in Trincomalee on 17 March says he was hung by his legs and
beaten with batons. His head was covered with a plastic bag dipped in petrol."
Lanka torture includes electric shock" says US State Department Report, 1996
"Methods of torture included electric shock, beatings
(especially on the soles of the feet), suspension by the wrists or feet in
contorted positions, burning, near drownings, placing of insecticide, chili
powder, or gasoline-soaked bags over the head, and forced positions. Detainees
have reported broken bones and other serious injuries as a result of their
Tamil Bodies float on Bologoda Lake, May 1995
"... hundreds of Tamils were arbitrarily arrested and
tortured. Many 'disappeared' and bodies were found floating in the waterways and
lakes near Colombo.." "In the capital city of Colombo, a video store clerk named
Naresh Rajadurai, 27, is last sighted in the company of an army officer. A week
later, Rajadurai's decomposed body is found 100 km north of Colombo with those
of four other Tamil youths... corpses of young men, many with faces mutilated
to prevent identification, have started showing up in lakes and field
Amnesty Report on
the torture of Arulapu Jude Arulrajah - October 1993
'Arulappu Jude Arulrajah was arrested on 2 October 1993 at
about 1.30 a.m. from his lodge at Bambalapitiya, Colombo by armed men in
civilian dress... Amnesty International interviewed him during a recent visit to
Sri Lanka and collected evidence suggesting that he had been held in two
unauthorised places of detention in Colombo until he was transferred to the
custody of the CID on 15 December 1993.
It also found that he had been tortured and ill treated at
his first place of detention which is thought to be an army camp by the sea, off
Galle Road, Kollupitiya, Colombo. During most of the
two months he was held at this first place of detention, Arulrajah was
blindfolded, with his hands and feet chained and he was kept in a darkened room
He was regularly beaten and on one occasion he was hung
from a wooden pole suspended between two tables and his genitals cut, possibly
with a hacksaw... Arulrajah was never told the reason
for the detention nor was he brought before a court or accused of having
committed any crime.''
International Annual Report 1992 for the period January to December 1991
"Torture of detainees was common...
In the east of the country suspected LTTE members were seized, abducted and
killed by men in plain clothes who were believed to be connected with the
security forces. Victims bodies were left in public places often in a
mutiliated state. In April (1991) a number of headless bodies were
found in Batticaloa: at least one was accompanied by a notice claiming
responsibility signed by the 'Black Cobras'.
In Trincomalee town dozens of abductions were carried out be unidentified men
believed to be associated with the army... Subramaniam Ketheeswaran disappeared
after he was taken from a refugee camp at Bambalapitiya, Colombo in September by
members of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party. About ten days later he was taken
to an army camp in Batticaloa and questioned about his involvement with the
LTTE..Detainees in the northeast were systematically tortured. Victims were
beaten, stabbed, burned and scalded, partailly buried or had nails driven
through the soles of their feet. Dozens of people reportedly died as a
result, reportedly in the east. "
International File on Torture, October 1985
that torture occurs in Sri Lanka have long been of concern to AI. Over the past
five years, however, the organization has received consistent reports, many in
the form of sworn affidavits, which lead it to conclude that the practice is
widespread and persistent Torture is used particularly against political
detainees, some of whom have died as a result, and also against criminal
suspects. The following types of torture have been reported to AI:
- prolonged hanging upside down while being beaten all
over the body, sometimes for the duration of one night and sometimes
with the head tied in a bag in which chillies were burning, making the
victim feel close to suffocating;
- prolonged beatings especially on the soles of the
while lying stretched out on a bench or while hanging by the knees from
- beatings on the genitals and other parts of the body
with sticks, batons and sand-filled plastic pipes;
- insertion of chillie powder in the nostrils, mouth and eyes
and on the genitals;
- electric shocks;
- insertion of pins under fingernails and toenails and in the
- insertion of iron rods in the anus;
- burning with cigarettes;
- mock or threatened executions.
Patricia Hyndman - Democracy in Peril, Report to Lawasia Human Rights Committee
"Detainees often have been held in army camps, incommunicado,
without access to lawyers and relatives, and in some cases have been tortured
and even killed whilst in custody...(In one case) it was found, at a post
mortem examination, that the detainee had suffered twenty five external and ten
internal injuries which had been inflicted on him by force. This was the
case of Mr.A.K.Navaratnarajah (a Tamil) who died on the 10th of April 1983
whilst held in custody. At the time of my visit in February 1985, no one had
been charged with Mr.Navaratnarajah's murder...
reporting in the London Times, January 1985
" Staff (at Jaffna General Hospital) told me they see many
victims of army beatings. Typically, boys emerge from interrogation and spells
in custody with multiple bruises caused by thrashings with PVC pipes filled with
sand. Some have heel fractures, having been suspended and beaten on the feet.""A
doctor said: 'I see about five of these cases a week, but remember that many
victims do not seek treatment because they are afraid... "
Case Study of Torture, Sri Lanka
Style - April 1984
"..I was told to lie down on the floor. They took off my
sarong and tied my ankles. My wrists were put in handcuffs beneath my knees.
I was then hung upside down from a cross-bar on the ceiling 10 or 12 feet from
the floor. Five guards surrounded me-two beat me with S-lon rods on the feet and
two others beat me all over my body. The fifth held his hand over mv mouth
to prevent me crying out. The army captain stood watching. After some time he
asked me again to name my movement. I said I was a student. He asked other
questions such as whether I knew how to use a gun and whether I had been to
India. I said "No" to all the questions.
After one hour my torturers took off for a tea break. While
they were away someone brought a large cube of ice which he placed on my private
parts where it was left for twenty minutes. [This is believed to be used to
freeze the tissues to prevent external evidence of injury while still enabling
the victim to feel the pain.] The soldiers then started beating me over my
private parts. The pain was intense. I cried out and they held a hand over
my mouth to stop me. This torture lasted for two hours..."
Torture - almost universal practise
of Sri Lankan authorities says International Commission of Jurists, June 1983
"...From informal records held in Jaffna, the author has
discovered that at least 23 members of the Tamil community have died in, or as a
result of being in army or police custody since July 1979. In addition four
persons have 'disappeared' whilst in such custody and must be presumed to
dead... the former detainees detailed to the author systematic inhumane and
violent treatment at the hands of those who were detaining them over long
periods of time... Several instances were reported to the author of
persons being hung upside down with a bag covering their head into which was
introduced fine ground dried chilli powder. Evidence of the effect of this
on the metabolism of the lungs was read by the author in the inquest
depositions......the author accepts that it is the almost universal practice
of the military authorities to physically assault and mistreat those persons who
have been in their custody with the principal locations for that assault
being the Elephant Pass army camp and the Panagoda army camp in Colombo..."
International Report, 1980
''In the period immediately after the emergency declaration
(in July 1979) a pattern of arbitrary arrest and detention existed and torture
was used systematically... Six young men, reported arrested in the days after
the emergency declaration, died in the custody of the police after having been
tortured and the bodies of three of them have still not been found...Various
methods of torture have been used by both the police and the army in the period
immediately after the emergency declaration, including suspending people
upside down by the toes whilst placing their head in a bag with suffocating
fumes of burning chillies, prolonged and severe beatings, insertion of
pins in the finger tips and the application of broken chillies and biting
ants to sensitive parts of the body and threats of execution. After these and
other methods of torture had been applied, statements were extracted and