The Government of Sri Lanka says it “strongly condemns” any act of torture, and will ensure that allegations of torture committed in the country will be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka Prasad Kariyawasam said that the Government seeks the assistance and cooperation of all those relevant parties in this endeavour, including parties outside the country, as evidence is key in the conduct of investigations.
Kariyawasam was reacting to allegations raised today that several Sri Lankan men had been tortured while the current Government was in office.
“The National Unity Government that was formed in Sri Lanka following the January 8, 2015 Presidential Election and the August 2015 Parliamentary Election, is committed, as promised to the people of the country, to work towards reconciliation, good governance, rule of law, and the promotion and protection of human rights, and has taken numerous concrete steps to prevent the commission of torture,” he said.
Kariyawasam said among the steps taken are to strengthen the National Human Rights Commission and ensuring that they are granted access to places where there may be complaints of torture, issuance of orders to all police and security officials forbidding torture of any kind, with punishment to the full extent of the law, if violated and welcoming visits by human rights organisations, including to the places where allegations of torture have been made, so that they can see for themselves that such illegal and reprehensible actions are not taking place in the country.
He also noted that the National Human Rights Action Plan (2017-2021) which was launched recently, has a complete chapter on the Prevention of Torture, with indicators for action to be taken.
The Foreign Secretary said that the Government of Sri Lanka does not condone or tolerate any form of torture, and seeks to work with all, including bilateral partners, as well as international organisations, to seek their assistance in terms of sharing experiences and expertise, as well as technical support, to ensure the elimination of this despicable practice and prosecute anyone responsible. (Colombo Gazette)