Criminal investigators increasingly intimidated in Sri Lanka

Criminal investigators are increasingly intimidated and harassed in Sri Lanka, a human rights group said in a report today.

Amnesty International released its 2020/21 annual report, covering Amnesty’s concerns during 2020 in 149 countries around the world.

In the report, Amnesty International noted that there was continued impunity for violations committed during the internal armed conflict, and the Government failed to uphold commitments to the UN Human Rights Council around justice and reconciliation.

As such, justice stalled and impunity prevailed, including in cases of killings and other violations allegedly linked to the ruling Rajapaksa family, Amnesty International said.

The report said that there were reports of deaths in custody and extrajudicial executions and violence against women remained widespread.

“Lawyers involved in cases of enforced disappearance, especially the so-called Navy 11 case and the Navatkuli case, faced intimidation and attacks on social media. In both cases, members of the Sri Lankan armed forces were suspected perpetrators,” the report said.

The report also said that several military officers who, according to the findings of various UN investigations, could be responsible for crimes under international law were also promoted during the year 2020 and appointed to powerful positions within the administration.

The report said that there was no notable progress in the investigations of the killings of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge in 2009 and sportsman Wasim Thajudeen in 2012. (Colombo Gazette)