Human rights violations observed, despite ensuring national unity - says the US report on Sri Lanka
The US State Department, releasing the 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, stated that even though Sri Lanka has taken numerous efforts to enhance national unity, there were several instances of gross human rights violations.
The annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices which covers internationally recognized individuals, civil, political, and worker rights, was released by the US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday.
The report acknowledged the democratic gains made by Sri Lanka, which include, efforts such as the closure of the Omanthae military checkpoint, adopting the constitution’s 19th amendment, co-sponsoring a resolution on human rights at the UN Human Rights Council and welcoming visits by the UN special rapporteur on transitional justice , removing the ban on eight Tamil diaspora organizations and 267 individuals on the previous government’s watch list.
However, major human rights problems reported during the year were brought to light, which included harassment of civil society activists, journalists, as well as arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, rape, and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence committed by police and security forces.
The report revealed that the International Truth and Justice Project had reported 11 cases of abduction, torture, and sexual violence perpetrated by police and security forces in 2015 and also brought to light, the case of torture in Kilinochchi, following the disappearance of a three-year-old girl where the girl’s mother, father, uncle and two cousins, were allegedly assaulted and tortured by Kilinochchi police officers during their interrogation.
Releasing the 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices John Kerry stated that Sri Lanka has challenges that still need to be overcome and added that they are working closely with the country in efforts to help meet those challenges.