Police and politicians backed by the country’s former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa joined anti-Muslim riots that rocked Sri Lanka’s Kandy district this month, according to witnesses, officials and CCTV footage reviewed by Reuters.
Police and politicians joined anti-Muslim riots that rocked Sri Lanka’s Kandy district this month, according to witnesses, officials and CCTV footage reviewed by Reuters.
…The role of police and some local Buddhist politicians in the Islamophobia rampage points to the depth of the problem that Muslims face in Sri Lanka. It also shows that the government has no control over some of its police and security personnel, and that the violence was more than a spontaneous outbreak fueled by fringe Buddhist fighters and hate-speech spread on social media.
…Sri Lanka’s Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara has said the violence in Kandy was « well organised » and pointed the finger at members of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), a political party backed by Rajapaksa that scored a huge victory in local elections last month.
« The Friday Forum considers it essential that the role and mandate of the Police and others involved in providing security for the elections are explained to them, particularly the Officers In Charge of police stations island wide so that those breaking the law would be dealt with impartially. We note with concern the incidents already in the news, particularly the on-going saga in Wanduramba. It is also ominous to note the deployment of 152 riot squads and setting up of road blocks in the run up to the Elections to quell any unrest, as stated in the Daily Mirror newspaper of 24th December, quoting the Police Media Spokesman. We call upon you to insist that they be deployed under you and get their instructions from you, as the common purpose seems to be to ensure a ‘peaceful election’. »
With the police and judiciary more fully politicised since then, the chances of a free and fair election are remote. The independent election commission was abolished in 2010, and the election commissioner’s many past calls to respect election law have had little effect. September’s provincial council elections in Uva province featured high levels of violence against the opposition. The stakes for the Rajapaksas are even higher than in 2010, given their many new domestic enemies and the growing international pressure over their failure to investigate alleged war crimes and serious human rights violations during the war.
Instead of dispersing the unruly mob or arresting them, the Police asked the organizers to cancel the meeting and send the participants home. They also refused to provide the participants with protection, despite the organizers requesting the Police for protection, whilst pointing out that the Police were duty-bound to do so. The organizers continued to stand their ground and insist that the Police remove the abusive mob from the private premises of the church. The organizers were reinforced by the arrival of several lawyers, Catholic priests and representatives of civil society organizations.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding a young man of the age of 17 who was illegally arrested by officers from the Kandaketiya police and severely tortured along with his brother and another family member. Despite appeals by his parents and lawyers the Magistrate who heard the case presented by the police ignored face that he had been tortured. Denied of medical treatment, P.H. Sadun Mallinga died in the remand prison while his brother held him in his arms.
Sri Lanka on Wednesday again rejected devolving police powers to the provinces as requested by new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and required by the constitution as a means to ease tension with minority Tamils.
One year ago to date, we said « Lest we forget, the Sri Lankan police, who act under the orders and protection of the Ministry of Defence, are far from doyens of impartiality” when they violently broke up a peaceful vigil in Colombo. (http://groundviews.org/2013/04/13/police-in-sri-lanka-show-their-true-saffron-colours/)
Does anyone really believe in the Rule of Law and the impartiality of the Police in Sri Lanka anymore?
At the Kalutara South Police Station, he was stripped and chained to a wooden table. “One policeman choked me with a wooden pole and another policeman beat me on the soles of the feet. While I was laying on the bench, they used a carpenter’s mallet to repeatedly smash my testicles,” said Kumara, who lost his left arm below the elbow after an electrical accident in 2008.
“Already I am missing an arm, so they threatened to cut off another piece of my arm.”
« We were satisfied that there was ample evidence of a “widespread” and “systemic” attack conducted by the Sri Lankan authorities, the AI and EU reports referring in terms to the abuse of the Tamil population being part of a government “strategy,” Ruling that they “did not find it credible that, if only from his service in the police from 2003 to 2009 that the appellant did not know of the routine and serious abuse of Tamils”, the Upper Tribunal Judges said “…it is our view that the country evidence shows overwhelmingly that the Sri Lankan authorities were specifically attacking the Tamil population, the police force being agents in that attack, certainly by the way of torture and kidnapping. »
Les forces de sécurité du Sri Lanka ont eu recours au viol et à d’autres formes de violence sexuelle pour torturer des membres ou des partisans présumés des Tigres de libération de l’Îlam Tamoul (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, LTTE), a déclaré Human Rights Watch dans un rapport publié aujourd’hui. Suite aux viols généralisés en détention qui ont eu lieu pendant le conflit armé ayant pris fin en mai 2009, Human Rights Watch a constaté que les violences sexuelles à motivation politique commises par l’armée et la police se poursuivent jusqu’à nos jours.
Lien pour lire l’article: http://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2013/02/26/sri-lanka-des-detenus-tamouls-sont-victimes-de-viol