Kohona: ‘Victorious soldiers could have raped every single woman’

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 July 2009, 02:20 GMT]
Sri Lankan government officials are running a prostitution racket using Tamil women interned in at least one of the militarised camps for displaced people, The Australian newspaper reported Thursday. "It's been brought to the attention of senior government officials but no one seems to be doing anything about it," an aid worker, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, told the paper. In response to the accusations, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Palitha Kohona told the paper: "These (the military) are the guys who were winning the war - they could have raped every single woman on the way if they wanted to. Not one single woman was raped."

Dr. Palitha T. B. Kohona
Dr. Palitha Kohona
Aid workers told The Australian that officials at the internally displaced people's camp in Pulmoddai, a remote northeast region, are running the prostitution ring using women kept in the camp.

"It's hard to know whether it's coercive or not, but there is an average of three families living to a tent and it can be extremely difficult trying to get privacy. You can imagine the military coming in and asking for something in return for more space or more favours," the aid worker said.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Palitha Kohona described the claims as "absolute rubbish", but confirmed the government was investigating the reports, the paper said.

"These (the military) are the guys who were winning the war - they could have raped every single woman on the way if they wanted to. Not one single woman was raped," Kohona told The Australian.

"I am sure in a mass of people there may be individuals who want to make a quick buck one way or another, but you have to remember the tents are so close together you can't do anything without the entire neighbourhood knowing. If you had a racket going, thousands of people would know about it."

A UN official said yesterday many families remained separated in the camps and that men and women believed to be Tamil Tiger fighters were being removed with "no due process or proper documentation, like arrest receipts, given to parents or guardians".

"These issues are of huge concern for us," the official said. "The lack of freedom of movement is a violation of human rights under Sri Lanka's own constitution."

The restrictions have heightened tensions in the camps, including a mass protest in the Ramanathan camp in the northern town of Vavuniya on Sunday in which IDPs tried to break down barbed-wire fences separating one camp zone - and many relatives - from another.

UN Sri Lanka co-ordinator Neil Buhne said camp conditions were slowly improving, thanks to better water and sanitation facilities.

"But the main thing is people are still inside these camps and they can't go anywhere. The government has made public commitments to get 80 per cent of people back to their homes by the end of the year (after separating civilians from the fighters) but that's going to be a difficult target to meet."

 

Latest 15 Reports
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=29705