Rights group appeals for accountability for victims of disappearances, detainees

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 September 2009, 12:29 GMT]
The Civil Monitoring Mission in an appeal made after convening a conference on the "Disappeared and the Detained" said Wednesday, "[t]he end of war has not brought any end to our agonies and miseries. We feel more vulnerable today than in the past. National reconciliation and national unity have been reduced to mere rhetoric statements. Instead of bringing change towards constructive hope, the ending of war has brought new miseries to our people. We are today witnessing over two hundred and fifty thousand of our people languishing in military guarded camps...," and appealed to the Sri Lanka Government to account of all detainees in prison, and to "[p]rovide democratic space with legal assurance to human rights organizations tomonitor and evaluate the violations and represent the victims."

Full text of the press statement follows:

We have gathered here today to collectively mourn and express our grief at the disappearance and detentions of our loved ones. We consider that no one, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, social status deserves to be “disappeared” and held in prisons and detentions centers for longer periods without proper judicial process.

Today the war has come to an end. The government had made the relevant announcement. We thought after the dark past a positive beginning would dawn upon us. We thought our dear ones who had gone missing will come home. We thought our dear ones who are held in prisons and detention centers would be given a decent consideration.

But nothing had changed. The end of war has not brought any end to our agonies and miseries. We feel more vulnerable today than in the past. National reconciliation and national unity have been reduced to mere rhetoric statements. Instead of bringing change towards constructive hope, the ending of war has brought new miseries to our people. We are today witnessing over two hundred and fifty thousand of our people languishing in military guarded camps. Their freedoms of movements are curbed with barbed wire fences where even the elected parliamentarians of this country are forbidden. We today express our solidarity with them and share their continued grief.

We are angry that the government has chosen to ignore the issues of Disappearances and Detentions of our loved ones as something that is not worthy of local and international attention. We are angry at the adamant refusal of the government to adequately investigate the complaints of disappearances with the constructive support of the United Nations. We are angry to note the discriminative principles practiced by the government to grant amnesty to selected few segments of the society. We are angry to note the politically motivated standards practiced by the government to grant judicial bail through the attorney general’s department to selected few while our dear ones suffer in prisons and detentions centers for longer periods, some are even up to 16 years. We are angry that detainees are not subjected to judicial procedures within reasonable time frames due to the inactions of the police and attorney general’s departments and also that they are not considered for the inclusion in rehabilitation programs. We are angry to note the irresponsibility and complete lack of transparency and accountability on the side of the government. We angrily refer all these as the state terrorism of the government of Sri Lanka.

As family members of the victims of Enforced Disappearances and Detainees
  • We want to find our loved ones
  • We want to know what happened to them
We call on the government to:
  • Provide account for all extra judicial killings and abductions since January 2006
  • Provide complete details of all detainees kept in all Prisons and state sponsored Detentions centers
  • Dismantle all illegal Para military detention centers and allow all those detained to go home
  • Grant amnesty or Judicial bail to Prisoners and Detainees linked to political violence
  • Incorporate convicted prisoners linked to political violence in the rehabilitation programs
  • Provide democratic space with legal assurance to human rights organizations to monitor and evaluate the violations and represent the victims
On behalf of the family members of the victims who are present here and also of those who have not present here due to logistical reasons, We as Convener and Chairman of the Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC) of Sri Lanka bring this Appeal to the notices of the President His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse’s government, Sri Lanka Parliament’s Leader of Opposition Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe, all the Political Leaders and all sections of International Community including United Nations

Mano Ganesan MP – Convener – Civil Monitoring Commission – Sri Lanka
Siritunga Jayasooriya – Chairman – Civil Monitoring Commission – Sri Lanka

 

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