The Human Rights situation in the North and the East, and indeed in all parts of the country continues to deteriorate. Not holding anyone accountable for the grave crimes committed during the last stages of the war, has its heavy price. Similar incidents are bound to recur and that is what is happening, particularly in the North and East of the country at present. Recently 109 very young Tamil girls were said to have been recruited to the Army from the Districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. No formal procedures were followed and some of them have managed to escape and return home. 16 others were said to have suddenly gone down with ‘mass hysteria’ and admitted to the Kilinochchi hospital one day and no one was allowed to meet them. All this raises grave suspicions as to the actual status of these girls in the Army. My colleague, Hon. Shritharan raised the matter in Parliament and he was promptly subjected to a Criminal Investigation Department inquiry in breach of Parliamentary privilege. Since he raised the question of privilege, now the Terrorist Investigation Division has raided his office in Kilinochchi, claims to have recovered some explosives and astonishingly, condoms and pornographic material! They have also arrested two of his staff and are holding them under the PTA. Handbills were distributed in Kilinochchi with pictures of the alleged pornography saying ‘This is your MP who speaks about young women being abused by the army’. He was also summoned to the TID office and subjected to a three hour inquiry just last week. Human Rights Watch has released a 141 page report two days ago on the sexual abuse of Tamil detainees. The 150,000 strong army presence in the Northern Province – one soldier to every five civilians – says more of what goes on in the open in the Tamil areas. This sense of impunity has been brought about solely due to the fact that no one has had to answer yet for the serious allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the last stages of the war. The UN Panel of Experts recommended an independent investigation into this with international supervision.
source: Groundviews and www.colombotelegraph.com