UN to maintain push for accountability on rights abuses

Ban ki moonThe United Nations is maintaining its status quo on Sri Lanka with regards to the investigations on incidents related to the war.

The Government had said recently there was no pressure on Sri Lanka with regards to the accountability process.

There is also a feeling the policy on Sri Lanka may change with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stepping down next year.

Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told The Sunday Leader that the priorities for Sri Lanka have not changed.

“I can’t really say what a new person may or may not do. But our priorities for Sri Lanka have not changed,” he said.

In light of the UN Committee Against Torture saying “white van” abductions took place even last year after the new government took office there are calls for the government to show more intent to investigate these incidents.

“The UN has made clear the need for such investigations,” Farhan Haq said.

Recently the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that a Toronto man who was allegedly imprisoned and tortured while visiting Sri Lanka must be compensated for the abuses he suffered.
The decision calls for Sri Lanka to prosecute those responsible and “provide adequate compensation” to Roy Samathanam, a Canadian who had filed a complaint with the committee three years ago.

Samathanam traveled to Colombo during a 2007 lull in the country’s civil war to marry. But police raided his home and seized 600 mobile phones he had helped import from Singapore for a friend’s business.

He said after he refused to pay a bribe to police he was taken to a Terrorism Investigation Division detention centre, where he was branded a “Canadian Tiger” and subjected to abuses.


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