COLOMBO: Sri Lanka is committed to work towards reconciliation with Tamils and has taken concrete steps to prevent torture, the foreign ministry said today after a media report claimed that more than 60 Sri Lankans were subjected to physical abuse under the current government.
The report quoting International Truth and Justice Project -- an advocacy group administered by the Foundation for Human Rights -- claimed that the men were accused of trying to revive the LTTE and tortured between early 2016 to as recently as July of this year.
Responding to the report, Sri Lanka's Foreign Ministry said, "The National Unity Government that was formed in Sri Lanka following the January 8, 2015 Presidential Election and the August 2015 Parliamentary Election, is committed, as promised to the people of the country, to work towards reconciliation, good governance, rule of law, and the promotion and protection of human rights, and has taken numerous concrete steps to prevent the commission of torture." The National Human Rights Commission had ensured access to places where there may be complaints of torture, issuance of orders to all police and security officials forbidding torture of any kind, with punishment to the full extent of the law, if violated, the ministry said.
The commission is welcoming visits by human rights organisations, including to the places where allegations of torture have been made, so that they can see for themselves that such illegal and reprehensible actions are not taking place in the country, it said.
Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said yesterday the story would be taken notice of by the world body.
The LTTEs 30-year separatist campaign ended on May 18, 2009 in the northeastern Mullaithivu district when Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the LTTE, was killed by Lankan troops.
According to UN figures, up to 40,000 civilians in the conflict.
Sri Lanka’s former regime refused to acknowledge the civilian toll of its wartime campaign, drawing censure from the international community.
President Maithripala Sirisena's government came to power in January 2015 promising justice for war victims, but his administration has been accused of dithering ever since.