Holding On To Life

by Francis Harrison, ‘Huffington Post’ The Blog, Los Angeles, March 30, 2017

Tired and in shock, he leans on her shoulder as if it were his mother’s. His reddened eyes keep on closing as he nods off, drained by sleepless nights spent reliving the past. Seeing the two of them together – both torture survivors – is a glimpse of intense tenderness, so fragile that I hesitate to frame it in words lest I crush it. There is between these strangers a gentleness, an unspoken all encompassing acceptance, an empathy born of shared suffering. Defining it simply doesn’t do the moment justice.

2017-03-28-1490689072-5243243-Theeye.pngEveryone in the room knows instinctively that he is not alright today when he arrives from hospital, but nobody asks or intrudes. He’s got his court hearing this week and he’s terrified. He’s also just been told he could loose the sight in one eye if he doesn’t get treatment. He already lost the full use of his arm because of an injury in the war. Fear that he might be going blind before he’s even thirty years old propels him into double despair.

Torture survivors normally recoil from physical contact but the man turns to lean on his other neighbour and there’s no unease; the conversation continues. Their comfort with one another is at odds with what is being discussed by this survivors’ group sitting in a circle in the back of a church far from home.

The refugee counsellor leading the discussion in Tamil finally turns to him and asks how he is feeling. Ever the life and soul of the group, he manages to put on a brave face, fleetingly, and says he’s ok.

“His lips say he’s ok but his face says otherwise,” jokes the motherly lady next to him. She is badly missing her own children.

An older man in the group talks about how important these meetings have been because he made a new friend, indicating the young man struggling to cope today. He’s very subtly reminding him of the value he has in other people’s lives, telling him he matters to him. Later on when we pass round chocolates, they all give him theirs and he hoards them like a naughty child but then meekly gives them all back – the gentle playfulness an alternative to the dark blanket of depression.

Sitting in the group I feel literally weighted down by their loneliness and despair. One man describes having a polythene bag soaked in petrol put over his head in a notorious army torture camp. Another says, yes I was in Joseph camp too. They are skimming the surface of their suffering, lightly alluding to a mountain of hidden cruelty. This is the one place they don’t need to spell it out; they can talk to each other in coded language and understand perfectly. Another person tells the counsellor, “What he just described is my story too”.

The motherly lady says she lives with Tamils but she can never talk to them about what she experienced, even though sometimes they ask when she’s visibly sad. Others say they are angry; one man rolls up his trousers to show us a swollen shin that is causing him so much pain he’s had to remove his shoe while sitting with us.

In the feedback session, a woman who has suffered more than you can imagine, tells the group, “I feel less shame being here, knowing that everyone has – more or less – been through the same thing”. She feels relief but I am gutted. How is it that she still feels shame and not the perpetrators?

Many say they feel better being able to express their feelings directly in their own language with others who’ve also endured torture. But I hear so many people in this one room talk about attempting suicide, about having nothing more to live for, wanting to end it all. It seems they are all hanging on to life by a thread and there’s very little on offer to help them – specialist counselling services are oversubscribed and many spend their days lying on their beds staring at the wall. Most have been attending weekly English classes; we’ve taken a break for a few weeks and they are terrified that the classes will stop altogether. Several say it’s the only day of the week when they eat a hot meal and talk to other people.

In the tea break, a survivor comes to tell me he very nearly jumped under a train on Saturday afternoon after seeing his immigration lawyer. I do my best to reason with him but I know suicide is not defeated by logic. Another torture survivor who tried to kill himself three times explained it to me in a way that I saw for the first time how seductive the idea could be, like the Sirens luring sailors off course to their destruction. He’s in the room too and about to become homeless this weekend. Last time we met I lent him some books and he’s been reading them to improve his English, looking up the difficult words in a dictionary. He fills his empty hours drawing and he brings me his sketchbook. Some drawings I note show metal chains; others a mother and baby. He is keen to show me the very first picture he drew; it is just one sad human eye sketched in pencil in meticulous detail. Perhaps it symbolises both the lonely pain of the horror he has seen from an early age and that he now desperately wants someone to look out for him.

Support a Survivor of Torture is a small UK registered charity started by Frances Harrison, which runs weekly English classes, group therapy sessions, and gives warm clothes to recent torture survivors from Sri Lanka arriving in the UK. Most who come have given testimony to the International Truth and Justice Project.

ICJ: Criminal Justice Reform Needed

by International Commission of Jurists, Switzerland, March 30, 2017

Sri Lanka: criminal justice reform needed to overcome challenges to accountability for human rights violations

Sri Lanka’s criminal justice system must undergo serious reform in line with international human rights standards in order to provide justice for victims of human rights abuses, the ICJ said in a discussion paper released today.

In a discussion paper titled Challenges to Accountability for Human Rights Violations in Sri Lanka: A Synopsis of Findings from a Meeting Lawyers and Human Rights Defenders in Colombo, November 2016, the ICJ has identified priorities for action raised by Sri Lankan lawyers and human rights defenders during a workshop on accountability for human rights violations and abuses held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in November 2016.

“After decades of undue political interference with judicial institutions by authoritarian regimes, the Sri Lankan criminal justice system as a whole has been weakened and is simply not equipped with the capacity or will to adequately pursue accountability for gross human rights cases,” said Nikhil Narayan, South Asia Senior International Legal Adviser for the ICJ.

“It is crucial that Sri Lanka embarks on real systemic reform of the criminal justice system, both legal and administrative, to strengthen its ability to deal with human rights violations and reverse the deteriorating public faith and credibility in the justice sector,” he added.

The issues raised by participants during the workshop in November 2016 echoed many of those identified in the ICJ’s prior studies, reflecting the ongoing and unaddressed systemic challenges that practitioners continue to face today, despite the change of government and perception that the adjudication of human rights cases is seamless.

This discussion paper highlights several key concerns raised by the participants, all of whom are human rights lawyers and defenders. These include:

  • the public’s lack of faith in the criminal justice system anchored to the lack of will and ability to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate human rights violations;
  • the gaps in the legal framework to address serious human rights violations;
  • questions as to the independence of State actors involved in the judicial system;
  • undue delays in pending cases, the lack of functional independence and impartiality of the Attorney General’s Office; and,
  • the poor processes and non-transparency in recent legal reform initiatives.

“Our workshop provided a stark reminder that, despite the end of the war nearly a decade ago, the same structural deficiencies in the criminal justice system that existed during the conflict continue to obstruct real justice and accountability for human rights abuses, both conflict-era and ongoing,” Narayan said.

“Particularly now, at a time when the Sri Lankan State at all levels is trying to convince both the domestic and international audience that the existing criminal justice system is sufficiently capable of adjudicating cases of gross human rights abuses stemming from the conflict as part of the transitional justice process, human rights lawyers and defenders in Sri Lanka have issued a counter-point to these claims,” he added.

The discussion paper concludes with the identification and prioritization of key strategies for criminal justice reform that could help address these challenges, including:

  • Clarifying the role of the Attorney General’s Office, including strengthening its functional independence and impartiality;
  • Strengthening the independence and impartiality of the judiciary;
  • Strengthening the functional independence of the police;
  • Incorporating gross human rights violations amounting to crimes under international law as specific offences in Sri Lankan law in line with international standards;
  • Strengthening the functional independence and impartiality of independent constitutional commissions such as the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and the National Police Commission, among others;
  • Encouraging and supporting the Bar Association of Sri Lanka in taking a stronger public advocacy role on human rights and rule of law; and,
  • Greater public awareness-raising of law reform initiatives.

Contact

Nikhil Narayan, South Asia Senior International Legal Adviser, e: Nikhil.narayan(a)icj.org

Background

The November 2016 workshop was the first of two colloquia to discuss ongoing challenges faced in promoting greater accountability for human rights violations and abuses through the Sri Lankan criminal justice system.

The second colloquium was held with Sri Lankan high court judges in Colombo in January 2017. The outcome of the judges’ colloquium will be published in a discussion paper next month.

The ICJ has previously published several reports, including in 2010 and 2012, documenting the deep politicization and capacity deficit of the Sri Lankan judiciary and criminal justice system in dealing with gross human rights violations and abuses.

Sri Lanka-FCO Accountability 1-Advocacy-Analysis brief-2017-ENG (full paper in PDF)

No Time to Spare

Tamil Community Calls for Concrete Action on Accountability, Reconciliation and End to Human Rights Abuses in Sri Lanka

by British Tamil Forum, US Tamil Political Action Council, Canadian Tamil Congress, March 23, 2017

Press Release on HRC 34 Resolution on SriLanka_USTPAC_BTF_CTC_170323 A

 

British Tamils ForumFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


No Time to Spare: Tamil Community Calls for Concrete Action on Accountability, Reconciliation and End to Human Rights Abuses in Sri Lanka


(Geneva – 23 March 2017)
Today the Human Rights Council adopted a new resolution on Sri Lanka.  The United States Political Action Council (USTPAC), British Tamils Forum (BTF), and Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) again call upon the government of Sri Lanka, with the engagement of the international community, to fully implement the commitments made in the October 2015 Council resolution 30/1. These commitments, including for accountability and political reform, are reaffirmed in today’s resolution.Image result for US Tamil Political Action Council

“The new resolution keeps Sri Lanka on the international agenda. That is important, but it is not enough,” said USTPAC’s President Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham.  “Member states, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, have invested substantial time and energy on Sri Lanka.  It is their responsibility, after passing five resolutions since 2012, to demonstrate diplomatic determination and make clear to the government that the status quo is unacceptable.  States should impel the government to fully implement its commitments under both resolutions and marshal financial and technical resources to help it to do so.”

Today’s resolution follows the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the government of Sri Lanka’s implementation of resolution 30/1.  In his report, High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein recommends the government present a comprehensive strategy and time-bound plan to implement its resolution 30/1 commitments.  Many member states echoed this call. The High Commissioner also calls on the government to launch a communications campaign to inform all of Sri Lanka’s communities about the objectives, timeframe, rationale, and benefits of the reconciliation agenda.

Image result for canadian tamil congressThe High Commissioner reports that Sri Lanka’s implementation of resolution 30/1 is ‘worryingly slow.’ “The government’s failure to deliver results is eroding the trust of Tamil and other communities,” said Ravi Kumar, General Secretary of BTF.  “It’s breeding disillusionment as to whether there will ever be accountability.  The government of Sri Lanka, by cosponsoring the resolution, confirms once again its commitment to fully implement all obligations in resolution 30/1.  The international community should not settle for anything less.”

USTPAC, CTC and BTF continue to advocate for confidence building measures so that tangible benefits quickly reach victims, particularly those in the NorthEast.  Due to the government’s failures and delaying tactics, victims have benefited very little.  To demonstrate its bona fides, the government should immediately:

  • Return land, including the release of all lands in Keppapulavu.
  • Operationalize the Office of Missing Persons.
  • Repeal the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act and replace it with legislation that accords to international standards.
  • Release all political prisoners held under the Act.
  • Issue public instructions to the security forces that torture, sexual violence and other human rights violations are prohibited and perpetrators will be punished.
  • Order all security forces to end surveillance, harassment and reprisals against the Tamil community and human rights defenders.
  • Invite OHCHR to establish offices in the NorthEast and Colombo.

“We call on the government to act upon the Consultation Task Force report.  The government should not disrespect the views of thousands of victims by disregarding the report,” said Raj Thavaratnasingham, President of CTC.  Furthermore, the government should continue consultations as it develops transitional justice mechanisms.”

“There can be no reconciliation without justice.  The government must immediately criminalize war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, set up a special prosecutor’s office, and create an independent witness protection program as part of a hybrid court.  By rejecting international judges, the government is going back on its word,” said Dr. Arulanantham.  “Nor can there be reconciliation without security sector reform and demilitarization of the NorthEast.”

Transitional justice and constitutional reform go hand in hand to guarantee non-recurrence and move towards reconciliation.  Deliberations to agree a new constitution by the year’s end are stalled.  “It’s essential the government meaningfully advance constitutional reform and provide a federal system with permanently devolved power to the NorthEast,” said Mr. Thavaratnasingham.

Dr. Arulanantham concluded, “We must see tangible results. There is no time to spare if reconciliation is to occur.”

HCHR: Vital for Sri Lanka to Send Message that ‘Impunity is no Longer Tolerated’

Vital for Sri Lanka to send message that ‘impunity is no longer tolerated’ underlines UN rights chief

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

22 March 2017 – Presenting an oral update on the rights situation in Sri Lanka, the top United Nations human rights official today said that a general lack of trust in the impartiality of the justice system in the country regarding past violations and continuing “unwillingness or inability” to address impunity reinforces the need for international participation in a judicial mechanism.

“It is important for the country’s future to send the signal that impunity is no longer tolerated,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the UN Human Rights Council today.

“For this to be credible, [the judicial mechanism] should include a special counsel, foreign judges and defence lawyers, and authorized prosecutors and investigators,” he added, noting that national consultations had also identified international participation as a way to gain the trust of the victims.

He also said that while the design of truth and reparations processes appear to be underway, such efforts needed to be in consultation with victims and the civil society, and that the repeal of the terrorism prevention act and its replacement with legislation that complies with international human rights law is to be concluded.

Also in his remarks, the UN rights chief hailed the work of the civil society and human rights defenders in the country and underlined that they must be protected from harassment and intimidation.

Making particular reference to the reports of intimidation of members of civil society at the Palais des Nations (the UN Office at Geneva), the High Commissioner said that his office (OHCHR) would be looking into the issues closely.

He also called on the Sri Lankan Government to consult the independent commissions in the country, the Human Rights Commission, which he said play an invaluable role in strengthening good governance.

“I encourage respect for their mandate and autonomy, adequate financing, and implementation of their recommendations,” he added.

Mr. Zeid also welcomed a number of directives made by the President of Sri Lanka regarding detention but noted that reports of torture, excessive use of force and failure to respect due process are a cause for worry.

“There is clearly a need for unequivocal instructions to all branches of the security forces that any such conduct is unacceptable and that abuses will be punished,” underlined the High Commissioner.

In conclusion, the UN rights chief said that victims should be kept at the centre of the efforts in the island nation and noted that justice for them was vital to ensure sustainable peace.


OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka

Advance edited version

February 10, 2017

Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka

OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka 10 Feb 2017

http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/34/20

Summary    The present report assesses the progress made in the implementation of Human Rights Council resolution 30/1, on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka between October 2015 and January 2017. On that basis, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights identifies efforts that need to be taken to achieve progress in the reconciliation and accountability agenda to which the Government of Sri Lanka has committed. The High Commissioner also advocates for the Government to continue meaningful consultations with relevant stakeholders on transitional justice and the reform agenda, and urges the Council to sustain its close engagement and monitoring of developments in Sri Lanka.

Introduction

  1. The present report is submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Council resolution 30/1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. It should be read in conjunction with the oral update of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Council of 29 June 2016 (A/HRC/32/CRP.4), the comprehensive report of the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) on Sri Lanka (A/HRC/30/61)and the detailed findings of the OHCHR investigation (A/HRC/30/CRP.2).[1]
  2. In its resolution 30/1, the Human Rights Council took note with appreciation of the report on Sri Lanka of the High Commissioner and the findings and conclusions of the OHCHR investigation. The Council requested OHCHR to continue to assess progress in the implementation of its recommendations and other relevant processes related to reconciliation, accountability and human rights, and to present an oral update to the Council at its thirty-second session and a comprehensive report at its thirty-fourth session.
  3. Building on the recommendations of the reports of the High Commissioner and the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka, the Human Rights Council, in its resolution 30/1, adopted by consensus, made comprehensive recommendations on the judicial and non-judicial measures necessary to advance accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, and on strengthening the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The resolution represents the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to the international community and to its own people to confronting the past, ending impunity, ensuring justice, achieving reconciliation and preventing the recurrence of violations…

                     [1]   English, Sinhalese and Tamil versions of the findings(also referred to unofficially as the “OISL report”) are available atwww.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/LKIndex.aspx.

Conclusions 

  1. The High Commissioner appreciates the constructive engagement of the Government of Sri Lanka with OHCHR and United Nations human rights mechanisms since January 2015. This collaboration marks a visible change of policy direction in addressing past human rights violations. The Government has advanced on constitutional reforms and showcased some positive developments on the broader human rights agenda. The fulfilment of transitional justice commitments has, however, been worryingly slow, and the structures set up and measures taken during the period under review were inadequate to ensure real progress.
  2. In his oral update to the Human Rights Council in June 2016,the High Commissionerobserved that “the full promise of governance reform, transitional justice and economic revival has yet to be delivered, and risks stalling or dissipating.” A similar analysis holds truenine months hence. Party politics, including the balancing of power between the different constituencies of the coalition in the run-up to constitutional reforms, have contributed to a reluctance to address difficult issuesregarding accountability or to clearly articulate a unified position by all parts of government. Unclear and often contradictory messages have been delivered on transitional justice mechanisms by the President, the Prime Minister and various members of the Cabinet. Similar contradictions are visible in policy development. This tension was apparent both in the draft counter-terrorism legislation and on the proposed amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code. Public messaging around transitional justice and reconciliation has been generally confusing and at times contradictory.
  3. The commitments of the Government,welcomed by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 30/1, were also applauded by all those interested in justice and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Eighteen months after the adoption of resolution 30/1, Sri Lanka has made some measure of elementary progress in reconciliation, in addressing the root causes of the conflict and in truth-seeking. Stronger, tangible results need to be forthcoming without further delay to prevent any further dissipation of hard-earned trust. The consultations on the reconciliation mechanisms and the representations on constitutional reform were inclusive, participatory processes, largely deserving of praise. The Government should consolidate these gains by embracing the conclusions of these processes and formulatinga reform and a transitional justice agenda that identifies a comprehensive strategy with clear andpublicly-announced benchmarks. The pace of establishing comprehensive transitional justice mechanisms has been markedly slow. Clear progress should be demonstrated on each of the pillars of the transitional justice structure.
  4. The importance of the role of independent commissions, and particularly of the Human Rights Commission, in strengthening reforms and cementing good governance cannot be overstated. It is therefore crucial that their mandate and autonomy be respected, that they be sufficiently resourced, they be effectively consulted and that their recommendations be duly noted and implemented.
  5. The High Commissioner believes that the Human Rights Council should continue to play a critical role in encouraging progress in accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. As the State moves to the implementation phase of the transitional justice agenda, the High Commissioner urges the Human Rights Council to remain closely engaged with Sri Lanka to continue monitoring developments.
  6. In particular, the High Commissioner highlights the recommendations below, some of which he made in previous reports.

OHCHR page on Sri Lanka at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/LKIndex.aspx

Five Army Top Brass Named as Running Torture and Rape Camp in Sri Lanka

by Athula Vithanage, ‘Journalists for a Democratic Society, Europe, March 16, 2017

An international rights watchdog has called upon the Sri Lankan government to investigate five top generals including its army commander in the aftermath of the war for allegedly running an army camp where “extremely brutal torture was routine”.

In a damning report released today exposing torture and sexual violence including rape in an army camp that illegally held Tamils detainees, International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) alleges that several of the violations occurred while Sri Lanka’s former army chief, currently Ambassador to Brazil was the commander of the camp.

JAGATH JAYASURIYA

Major General Jagath Jayasuriya was the commander of the Wanni Security Force Headquarters in Vavuniya, more commonly known as “Joseph Camp”, from August 2007 till mid July 2009.

“There is no way General Jagath Jayasuriya can claim not to have known that torture routinely occurred in his camp; there were purpose built underground torture chambers equipped with manacles, chains and pulleys for hoisting victims upside down,” said ITJP Executive Director, Yasmin Sooka, “If the detainees could hear each other screaming at night from adjacent buildings, so could he.”

Promoting and rewarding

ITJP slams the ousted Mahinda Rajapaksa regime and the succeeding government led by Maithripala Sirisena for promoting and rewarding the accused army commander.

“Instead of being held accountable for these serious crimes he was promoted and rewarded by becoming army commander in July 2009. After the change of government in 2015, he was given a diplomatic posting to Brazil from where he is also accredited to Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Suriname,” it says.

The report that makes disturbing reading, replete with sketches of cells and interrogation rooms drawn by survivors, is based on the sworn testimony of 46 people, says ITJP.

SUMEDHA PERERA

They have revealed graphic details of extremely brutal alleged torture and sexual violence including female and male rape in the Joseph Camp.

ITJP has called for a thorough investigation of the camp by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Committee Against Torture as well as the immediate recall of General Jayasuriya from his post in Brazil pending investigation.

At the end of the civil war in May 2009, the sprawling camp in the garrison town of Vavuniya was used to interrogate and torture large numbers of people suspected to be members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE.

In addition to Jagath Jayasuriya, Majors General Kamal Gunaratne, Sumedha Perera and Boniface Perera who were former commanders of the camp and the present commander General Jeewaka Ruwan Kulatunga has been named as those complicit in torture.

ITJP that says it has compelling evidence that Joseph camp was still being used as recently as December 2016 for illegal detention and torture, has called upon the Sri Lankan government to suspend and investigate all of them.

BONIFACE PERERA

War crimes

The report recalls that another former commander of the camp Major General Kamal Gunaratne has been named by the UN as having been the commander of the 53 Division, which was alleged by the UN to have been involved in the execution of the surrendered Tamil female TV presenter, Isaipriya.

Furthermore, the UN report on Sri Lanka (OISL) released in 2015 September names the 53 Division as one of three military brigades involved in perpetrating acts of torture and says the Division would have been aware that hospitals and a UN hub in the war zone were being shelled by government forces because they could be seen with the naked eye from their positions.

In the report the South Africa based rights group claims it has scores of names and photographs of alleged perpetrators of torture and rape from Joseph Camp, several of whom have been positively identified by their victims.

KAMAL GUNARATNA

Less than a month ago ITJP handed over details of six military men including a major and a lieutenant colonel who are alleged perpetrators of rape and torture of detainees.

“Zero-tolerance” policy

Sri Lanka denies that its armed forces are engaged in systematic sexual violence.

It has told the UN that only 18 incidents of sexual violence by security forces have been reported from the war affected region since 2007.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha told UN earlier this month that the government is committed to a zero-tolerance policy on torture which was demonstrated by “the participation of the President in a walk against torture organised by the National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka last year”.

 

US State Dept. Human Rights Report 2016

Sri Lanka

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  

Sri Lanka is a constitutional, multiparty republic with a freely elected government. In January 2015, voters elected President Maithripala Sirisena to a five-year term. The Parliament shares power with the president. August 2015 parliamentary elections resulted in a coalition government between the two major political parties. Both elections were free and fair.

Civilian authorities generally maintained effective control over the security forces; however, there were continued reports that police and security forces sometimes acted independently.

The most significant human rights problems were incidents of arbitrary arrest, lengthy detention, surveillance, and harassment of civil society activists, journalists, members of religious minorities, and persons viewed as sympathizers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Other human rights problems included abuse of power and reports of torture by security services. Severe prison overcrowding and lack of due process remained problems, as did some limits on freedoms of assembly and association, corruption, physical and sexual abuse of women and children, and trafficking in persons. Discrimination against women, persons with disabilities, and persons based on sexual orientation continued, and limits on workers’ rights and child labor also remained problems.

Impunity for crimes committed during and following the armed conflict continued, particularly in cases of killings, torture, sexual violence, corruption, and other human rights abuses. The government made incremental progress on addressing impunity for violations of human rights. The government took some steps to arrest and detain a limited number of military, police, and other officials implicated in old and new cases, including the killing of parliamentarians and the abductions and suspected killings of journalists and private citizens.

Full report here & at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265548

Appendix C — Foreign aid to Sri Lanka — FY 2016 Actuals Includes OCO and Base Funding

All Accounts =                              $42,504,000

Economic Support Fund =          38,040,000

Intl Narcotics Control =               1,000,000

Non-Proliferation, Terrorism = 2,880,000

Intl Military Ed & Training =        584,000