Amnesty welcomes disappearances convictions
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 February 1999, 23:22 GMT]
Amnesty International, the London-based human rights watchdog welcomed today’s convictions of six members of the Sri Lankan security forces and a school principal involved in a notorious ‘disappearance’ case as "another step against impunity".
The seven convicted were Wednesday sentenced by the Ratnapura High Court to 10 years’ imprisonment for the disappearance of 25 people, including 24 students between the ages of 15 and 17 during the JVP uprising of the late eighties.
The seven accused were found guilty of abduction with intent to murder and wrongful confinement at Sevana army camp, Embilipitiya, Ratnapura district, between late 1989 and early 1990.
This is the first judgement relating to disappearances that occurred in the late 1980s when these grave violations reached tragic proportions in southern Sri Lanka in the context of the armed insurgency by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), People’s Liberation Front said Amnesty.
"We hope this judgment will also reinforce the message sent by the government to the army and police that human rights violations will not be tolerated," said Pierre Sané, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, in a letter to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.