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Major human rights problems in Sri Lanka: US

Last Updated: Sunday, April 21, 2013 - 15:34

Colombo: The US has said that Sri Lanka`s rights record in 2012 was tainted by "major human rights problems" including "involuntary disappearances" and "unlawful killings" by security forces and pro-government military groups.
"The major human rights problems were attacks on and harassment of civil society activists, persons viewed as LTTE sympathisers, and journalists by persons allegedly tied to the government, creating an environment of fear and self censorship, involuntary disappearances as well as lack of accountability," the US State Department`s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 said.

It added that other serious problems included unlawful killings both by security forces and government-allied para military groups.

"The government prosecuted a very small number of officials implicated in human rights abuses but is yet to hold anyone accountable," it added.

Although the number of killings associated with government para military groups had declined from 2011, the report charged government-allied Eelam People`s Democratic Party (EPDP), led by Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare Douglas Devananda, of engaging in intimidation, extortion, corruption and violence against civilians in Jaffna.

The other issues listed in the country report include enforced and involuntary disappearances and widespread impunity with the government failing to solve attacks on journalists.

The US report follows the British government`s 2012 report released earlier in the week, where the former too had expressed concern over the rights situation in Sri Lanka.


First Published: Sunday, April 21, 2013 - 15:34

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