Leader of the opposition and the Tamil National Alliance, R. Sampanthan, told Xinhua that recent findings by UN Human Rights Officials who had visited the country were “disturbing” and it was the responsibility of the government to probe their statements and stop such old practices.
Juan E. Mendez, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on torture, who undertook a nine-day fact finding mission to Sri Lanka earlier this month told reporters last week that he had heard testimony that between 16,000 and 22,000 people had gone missing during the conflict and its immediate aftermath and that Sri Lanka’s criminal and terrorism investigators were still resorting to torturing suspects.
Sampanthan said if such old practices continued by the investigators, the government would have to answer to the UN Human Rights Council when they meet shortly.
“Although the whole system cannot be blamed, there are certain individuals who are responsible for torture. It is necessary for the government to ensure that these practices stop immediately. They should commence an immediate probe,” he said.
The Government has pledged to conduct an investigation into the findings of the UN to ensure that there is no room for recurrence. (Colombo Gazette)