More than 20 disappearances last year

More than 20 alleged enforced disappearances were reported in Sri Lanka last year, the annual human rights report released today by the London based Amnesty International (AI) said.

The victims included political activists, business people and suspected criminals.

The report slammed Sri Lanka saying that Government officials and supporters harassed and threatened human rights defenders, journalists and members of the judiciary who spoke out about abuses of power or advocated human rights accountability.

The 2013 report which looks at the state of human rights around the world in 2012, said that in Sri Lanka unlawful detentions, torture and enforced disappearances remained rife and went unpunished.

It also said that despite the end of the war,  impunity persisted for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. The report also said that the government failed to implement recommendations aimed at accountability made by Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and the UN Human Rights Council.

“The authorities continued to rely on the Prevention of Terrorism Act to arrest and detain suspects for lengthy periods without charge or trial. Despite government claims, many people displaced by the armed conflict were not fully settled, including some whose land remained occupied by the Sri Lankan military,” the report added. (Colombo Gazette)