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Nov 14, 2016

No improvement against police abuse - govt. in difficulties in Geneva Featured

Noting that Sri Lanka has failed to make progress against abuse and torture, human rights organizations say they will complain to the UN committee against torture (UNCAT) in Geneva in that regard.

Sri Lankan laws recognize torture as a criminal offence, but those laws are not properly implemented, executive director of Right to Life Philip Dissanayake has told BBC Sandeshaya.

Civil society organizations are to submit a report into abuse and torture to the UN committee, with a copy handed over to the government, he said.

The Sri Lankan government too, should submit a report of progress and how previous recommendations were implemented, said Dissanayake.

Torture has become the only method by police to obtain information from criminals, which is happening at police stations, according to reports.

The Sri Lanka Human Rights Council report too, notes an increase in the incidence of torture, said Dissanayake.

The SLHRC and the police commission have set up their offices in areas of Puttalam which is reporting most of these incidents.

Decrease in disappearances

Meanwhile, HR activist Britto Fernando says there has been a decrease in incidents of enforced disappearances, despite an apparent resumption of the white van culture.

Those detained outside the law have been freed later, he said.

The present government has failed to investigate disappearances that occurred during the previous administration, said Fernando.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s remark that he would not allow punishment for war heroes gave rise to suspicion as to whether the guilty parties could be punished, he added.

Govt. team to Geneva

Meanwhile, a team of senior government officials will appear before UNCAT tomorrow (15) to make submissions with regard to allegations of police abuse.
The team is led by attorney general Jayantha Jayasuriya and also includes additional solicitor general Sarath Jayamanne, deputy solicitor general Nerin Pulle, head of the police legal division DIG Ajith Rohana and national intelligence chief Sisira Mendis.

They will be joined by representatives at the UN Rohan Perera and Ravinatha Aryasinha.

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