As a United Nations Human Rights Council meeting that will examine Sri Lanka’s civil rights record begins in Geneva, Human Rights Watch released a report, We will teach you a lesson. The 141-page report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch said politically motivated sexual violence by police and the military continues even though armed conflict ended in May 2009. Human Rights Watch said it wants the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Council to conduct an independent international investigation of the situation.
The Sri Lankan government dismissed the allegations as fake and as Tamil separatist propaganda.
Sri Lanka’s military spokesman, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya, rejected all of the allegations, saying they lacked credibility. He said the report consisted of ‘‘fabricated allegations’’ and ‘‘good creative writing’’.
Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to New Delhi said he had no evidence to suggest the allegations of abuse, which the rights group said occurred from 2006 to 2012, were true. The ambassador, Prasad Kariyawasam, said the testimonies of 41 women, 31 men and 3 boys were likely made by “economic refugees” who “need a good story” to get asylum.
“Until we do a proper inquiry, we have to believe that these are all sob stories for the sake of obtaining asylum or refugee status in a developed country,” Kariyawasam told Reuters.“Until there is a proper examination… in the Sri Lankan court system, we will not be able to accept these allegations.”
He said the report was “a well-timed effort” to discredit Sri Lanka ahead of a vote on a US-backed resolution criticising it at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva this week. Kariyawasam said the New York-based rights group was working with the Washington to “bring Sri Lanka down”.
“Sri Lanka is not a very big country. We cannot fight with the most powerful country in the world and their NGOs who have a large amount of funds, but we still have the right to say what we want to say.”
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