Sri Lankan official dodges UN questions over alleged torture – report
A United Nations committee that monitors acts of torture in member countries grilled an intelligence chief Wednesday over the alleged abuse of detainees during Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, only to have the nation’s attorney general step in to deflect the questions, AP reported.
The mere presence of Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis at the Committee Against Torture’s two-day hearing on Sri Lanka was already a surprise to both panel members and many non-governmental groups that have raised concerns about his war-time activities. .
A U.N. report last year documented evidence of “premeditated and systematic” torture by some of Mendis’ subordinates when he was a top police official during the recent war.
The evidence included chambers equipped with “metal bars and poles used for beatings, barrels of water used for waterboarding, and pulleys and other apparatus from which victims were suspended,” according to the report.
Panel Vice Chair Felice Gaer of the United States asked Mendis what he knew about possible torture by units of the Sri Lankan security forces while he was deputy inspector general of the police in 2008 and 2009.
“So Mr. Mendis, it’s very unusual for this committee to have a person who has had the experiences you have before us,” Gaer said. “Can you tell us whether you or officers under your responsibility jointly interrogated persons deprived of liberty together with military officers or with members of the TID (Terrorism Investigation Division)?”
Mendis did not respond. Sri Lanka Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya, who led the country’s delegation to the Geneva hearing, said it would respond in writing to the questions within 48 hours and provide “comprehensive answers to the areas where we can.”
Mendis and Jayasuriya declined to speak to The Associated Press following the session.
Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in 2009 when government forces defeated Tamil Tiger rebel fighting to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils. The U.N. has estimated that at least 80,000 people were killed during the conflict, including up to 40,000 civilians in the last month alone.
The U.N.’s Human Rights Council last year unanimously approved a resolution to increase post-war accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, AP reports.
United Nations? This is a dying organization run by bunch of wankers. Don’t take any notice of these rip raps, who has nothing better to do.
The Tamil Diaspora has moved to get Swiss Authorities arrest SL’s Chief On Military Intelligence arrested and charged for torture and human rights violations.
This move will most likely, be successful.
Mr Mendis and SL’s Attorney General (who has failed to prosecute the most corrupt regime we have ever had for 68 years) had to beat a quick retreat under questioning.
Just leave it. As some countries have left the ICC and Commonwealth.
The UNHRC reprorts are based on petiotions filed by the Tamils with no tangible evidence evidence to supprot their claims. The UNHRC itself has not taken any steps to investigate into the claims of the petitioners. and then proceed therefrom. Even after 10 years the UNHRC has not been able to hustle any material evidence except for lists that has surfaced bteween and they themselves have not been tracked. One reason for this state of affairs is due to the failure of the mission which is nothing more than an employment agency for subservient employment hangers on the UN charter….I know for I was in the system and the only time that they manged to get together not never to discuss anything of importance is at cocktail parties.
What reports has the UNHRC filed in relation to events leading to to the Rwandan genocide in 1994 engineered by the UN where an estimated 1,000,000 were slaughtered in 100 days and then the UN was in the forefront of the killing of democratically elected Patrice Lumumba. these are recent events and before things get distorted in time UN ought to investigate as to why it failed and go on witch hunts and the UN ought to be told so if it can enjoy any credibility