Unlawful killings in Sri Lanka – US

Embassy_Colombo_Logo The United States has said that ‘unlawful killings by security forces and government-allied paramilitary groups are a major human rights problem in Sri Lanka, often in the predominantly Tamil areas.’

The 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices published by the U.S. State Department stated that “The major human rights problems were unlawful killings by security forces and government-allied paramilitary groups, often in predominantly Tamil areas, which led many to regard them as politically motivated, and attacks on and harassment of civil society activists, persons viewed as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathizers, and journalists by persons allegedly tied to the government, which created an environment of fear and self-censorship.”

Releasing the report today at the State Department Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said these human rights reports United States Government makes clear to governments around the world that they are being watched.

"We are watching and we are holding you accountable," she said adding that the U.S. makes clear to citizens and activists everywhere: "You are not alone. We are standing with you."

The report also stated that “the Sri Lankan government prosecuted a very small number of officials implicated in human rights abuses but had yet to hold anyone accountable for alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law that occurred during the conflict.”

"Official impunity for a wide range of human rights abuses, particularly in cases of police torture, corruption, and attacks on media institutions, was a problem."

The report recognized that although enforced and involuntary disappearances continued to be a problem, the number of such disappearances appeared to have declined from previous years.

The Report recognized the government’s plans to relocate and expand several prison facilities and its collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to modernize the prison system.

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