Responses to Concluding Observations of the Committee at its last session, Sri Lanka submitted its fifth periodic report of 32 pages to the UN Committee against Torture covering the period December 2011 to 7 October 2015. The report details the significant initiatives undertaken by the GoSL, since the review of Sri Lanka’s combined third and fourth periodic report to the Committee and particular attention is given to the “principal subjects of concern and recommendations” expressed by the Committee.
The Government, since assumption of office in January 2015, undertook a series of steps to strengthen democratic institutions, good governance and rule of law and also has enhanced efforts in achieving meaningful reconciliation and building confidence among communities affected by the conflict and rejects the allegations that torture remains widespread and unpunished.
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka in its report to the UN Committee Against Torture calls for the amendment of the definition of torture in Section 12 of the Convention Against Torture Act and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act no 22 of 1994 to expand the definition of torture. It says that that torture is routinely used in all parts of the country regardless of the nature of the suspected offence for which the person is arrested.
Civil Society Organisations, the Asian Legal Resource Centre, British Tamil Forum, Freedom from Torture, Joint report of Global Justice Center (GLC) and World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), Sri Lankan NGO Collective against torture and the US Tamil Political Action Council have made representations to the UN committee.