HRW Report, grist to LTTE mill, complains SCOPP
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 August 2007, 16:17 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Secretariat for Co-ordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP), in a press release issued Tuesday, criticized the report on Sri Lanka's human rights violations released by New York-based Rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW), charging that the report's assertion that there is "dramatic increase in abuses by the government during the past 18 months is designed to imply that the Rajapaksa government has misbehaved from the time it was elected," and that some of the damaging evidence was obtained from "a single interview with a single humanitarian worker."
SCOPP led by former Professor of Languages at Sabaragamuwa university, Rajiva Wijesinha, has been vocal in disputing several recent reports by international organizations that have been criticial of Sri Lanka Government of violations of human rights.
Full text of SCOPP's press release follows:
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT CONTRADICTORY AND MISLEADING—SCOPP
The Human Rights Watch report on Sri Lanka is misleading and rife with contradictions and could be used by organizations like the LTTE and others that seek support to disrupt democratically elected governments like that of Sri Lanka, SCOPP Secretary General Rajiva Wijesinha said in a letter to the U.S. based human rights group.
Prof. Wjesinha accused Human Rights Watch of being selective in its release in concentrating criticism on the human rights record of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“Your report is a repetition of the unequivocal criticism of the current Sri Lanka government, that is grist to the mill of not only the LTTE but also others in Sri Lanka who deplore the results of democratic elections and hope instead that agencies like yours will help to disrupt the government,” Prof. Wijesinha said in a letter to Brad Adams, Director of the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch.
The assertion that there has been a dramatic increase in abuses by the government during the past 18 months is designed to imply that the Rajapaksa government has misbehaved from the time it was elected. But that assertion is contradicted in other paragraphs in the release itself as well as in the full report, the Secretary General declared.
Referring to the report’s assertion that government authorities have forced some to return to areas that remain insecure, the SCOPP Secretary General said: “The selectivity of the report is most depressing and ignores the current situation.”
In fact in the report itself, allegations of forced returns of people are attributed to a single interview with a single humanitarian worker. The report omits the current situation, where UNCHR staff monitoring the situation reported that a majority of the people are eager to return home, the returns are voluntary and in line with international standards, Professor Wijesinha said. .
01.08.07 Right to Protect