UN torture committee to submit confidential report to Sri Lanka

The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture has completed its first visit to Sri Lanka from 2 to 12 April where it examined the treatment of people deprived of their liberty and the safeguards in place for their protection against torture and ill-treatment.

“We have received good cooperation during the visit, having access to all places of detention, getting all relevant information and performing confidential interviews. We look positively on Sri Lanka’s prospective development of a national preventive mechanism, as required under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture,” said Victor Zaharia, who led the four-member delegation.

“Our work is guided by the principles of confidentiality, impartiality, non-selectivity, universality and objectivity,” Zaharia underscored.

The delegation visited police stations, prisons, remand prisons, military camps, rehabilitation centres, mental health institution, a rehabilitation centre for children, and held meetings with the Government representatives, Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission and civil society representatives.

The Optional Protocol, which Sri Lanka ratified in 2017, says that no authority or official shall order, apply, permit or tolerate any sanction against any person or organization for having communicated to the Subcommittee or to its delegates any information, whether true or false, and no such person or organization shall be otherwise prejudiced in any way.

The Subcommittee carries out its work within the framework of the Charter of the United Nations and is guided by the purposes and principles thereof, as well as the norms of the United Nations concerning the treatment of people deprived of their liberty.

The Subcommittee’s next step will be to submit its confidential report to the Government of Sri Lanka, containing its observations and recommendations arising from the visit. The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture encourages the State parties to make its reports public.

The delegation was composed of Victor Zaharia, Head of Delegation (Republic of Moldova), Satyabhooshun Gupt Domah (Mauritius), Petros Michaelides (Cyprus), and June Lopez (Philippines). (Colombo Gazette)

1 COMMENT

  1. Sri Lankans need to be very clear that the basic principle in life is, “Truth never changes”. It brings reality to life. The truth reveals the good and the bad and makes a person to choose the right and walk into action with it, to fulfil the purpose of a good, truthful, fruitful and happy life.

    The historical truth is; about 70 years ago, the British colony of Ceylon became the Dominion of Ceylon (DOC) in 1948. After 24 years, in 1972, DOC was named as The Republic of Sri Lanka (SL), by a unilateral constitution, in violation of the 1948 constitution, by a socialist-Marxist Sinhalese government, without the consent of the indigenous Tamils; who lived for more than 2500 years. Britain captured the nation ruled by Tamil kings separately. Further, the unilateral constitution of SL of 1972 was not ratified by a referendum. And in 1977, the people of Northern and Eastern provinces voted in a referendum for independent Tamil Eelam, overwhelmingly, by about 65% votes.

    Therefore, SL is an illegal country after 1972. ruled only by a ” mandate from the Sinhalese” and not a constitution, as wrongly believed by the International Community and said by the GSL. Britain failed to intervene to resolve the issues of 1972 and referendum of 1977 to practice democracy

    In 1958 a socialist-Marxist party led by SWRD Bandaranayake, came to power with racist anti Tamil slogan. It passed “ Sinhala Only Bill” (SOB) in parliament without the required two third votes required in the DOC constitution of 1948, while remaining as DOC. When the DOC government implemented SOB. violating the 1948 constitution of the DOC, Britain failed to do justice.

    The Socialist-Marxist governments of SL comprised mainly of Sinhala Buddhist extremists. These despots ; arrested, tortured, killed, disappeared, murdered and raped Tamils and expropriated their traditional lands with an intention to exterminate them. Frequent xenophobic attacks against ethnic Tamils occurred and Tamils suffered materially, culturally, psychologically and faced genocide, torture, disappearances, killings and expropriations, yet Britain failed to take concrete action.

    The European Parliament, in March 2019, passed a resolution by 535 MEP votes with 80 against, calling for reparations and restorative justice to those affected during former colonialism by EU countries. Therefore, Britain is obliged to rectify the mistakes done by it to Tamils from 1948 to 1972, in 1977, and thereafter up to now in SL

    Research done on British colonialism and granting of independence in a sample of 10 countries, it was found that Britain often decided as to who should head the independent country and how to control the resources of the country and its people.

    Britain chose “ Nayakes” who came from Telugu ethnicity, long ago, from India to rule DOC. The “Nayakes” were ruthless and violent enough to enforce their alphabet style and oppress the true or real natives, or indigenous Sinhalese, through adulterated laws and discipline of Buddhism, past untruthful history and violence.

    The first Prime Minister of DOC, DS Senanayake and SWRD Bandaranayake were “Nayakes” as their names imply at the end. This basic truth explains the attitude of Britain during DOC and thereafter.

    Britain should consider the facts, declare the 1948 constitution as the only valid constitution of the island, refute and invalidate the illegal and unilateral constitution of 1972 . Now, 46 countries in the the UNHRC have signed their support for the resolution 40/1. Britain is obliged to take the lead to resolve the issues of 1972 and 1977: taking the problem even to the UN General Assembly.

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