Sri Lanka rejects inference that the presence of the military contributes to the insecurity of women and girls in the former conflict-affected areas
Posted on June 24th, 2014

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva

 Sri Lanka has strongly rejected the inference that the presence of the military contributes to the insecurity of women and girls in the former conflict-affected areas.

Exercising a ‘Right of Reply’ with regard to the statement made during the General Debate under Agenda Item 4 by Canada, claiming ‘ongoing use of rape and sexual violence by Sri Lankan security forces against perceived government opponents,’ Sri Lanka said this claim is not substantiated by verifiable data or evidence. It was noted that any allegations supported by credible evidence are dealt with firmly by the authorities and legal action has been taken by the Government in all cases in which the Sri Lankan security personnel have been involved.

Full statement is annexed herewith.

Right of Reply

Sri Lanka

26th Session of the Human Rights Council

Agenda Item 4, 23 June 2014

Mr. President,

Sri Lanka wishes to exercise its right of reply with regard to the statement made by Canada claiming ‘ongoing use of rape and sexual violence by Sri Lankan security forces against perceived government opponents.’

Sri Lanka strongly rejects this claim which is not substantiated by verifiable data or evidence.

Mr. President,

Sri Lanka has a well-established, zero tolerance policy on sexual and gender based violence against women, and continues to take strong action against reported cases of violence against women.

The involvement of security forces personnel as a percentage of the total incidents of sexual violence is low, both in the conflict and the post-conflict periods. During the conflict period (January 2007- May 2009), 7 security forces personnel were reported as having been involved in 5 incidents of sexual violence in the Northern Province, out of a total of 125 persons accused in 119 incidents for the entire Northern Province. In the post-conflict period (from 2009 – May 2012), 10 security forces personnel were reported as having been involved in 6 incidents of sexual violence in the Northern Province, out of a total of 307 persons accused in 256 incidents for the entire Northern Province. The involvement of security forces personnel as a percentage of the total accused stands at 5.6% in the conflict period, and 3.3% in the post-conflict period. Any allegations supported by credible evidence are dealt with firmly by the authorities.

Legal action has been taken by the Government in all cases in which the Sri Lankan security personnel have been involved. The Military has taken stringent action, including discharging offenders or imposing other punishments in accordance with the military and penal codes. Charges have also been filed in normal criminal courts. Along with the application of law to personnel in breach of the law, the Sri Lankan military continues to provide large-scale human rights training to its personnel with the assistance of the ICRC.

Further, Sri Lanka’s reconciliation mechanism, the National Plan of Action for implementation of the Recommendations of the LLRC (LLRC NPoA) has also taken concrete measures to address the specific concerns, vulnerabilities of victims of conflict, especially women and children.

Other extensive measures have also been taken by the Government to ensure the wellbeing and security of women and girls, including the establishment of Women and Children’s Police Desks in police stations, sexual and gender based violence Help Desks in hospitals, and Child and Women Development Units at Divisional Secretariats in the Northern and the Eastern provinces; as well as the provision of health, security and legal assistance to women hospitalized as a result of gender-based violence, and the conduct of sensitisation programmes on prevention of violence against women and protection of women’s rights to police and security forces, community leaders and the general public.

Mr. President,

Against this background, Sri Lanka strongly rejects the inference that the presence of military contributes to the insecurity of women and girls in the former conflict-affected areas. This remains at the level of allegation unsubstantiated by verifiable data. Further, no evidence has been directly brought to the attention of Government authorities by any claimant, to enable the conduct of credible investigations and prosecutions. Also, what exactly is meant by Canada by ‘perceived government opponents’ remains deliberately unclear.

Mr. President,

Sri Lanka would therefore like to request Canada to refrain from making irresponsible, unsubstantiated claims driven by diaspora imperatives which is not helpful to the process of bringing about genuine reconciliation among communities in the aftermath of such a grievous and long-drawn conflict.

Thank you.

4 Responses to “Sri Lanka rejects inference that the presence of the military contributes to the insecurity of women and girls in the former conflict-affected areas”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Tamils girls and women secretly love and fantasize SL soldiers who look BETTER than Tamilians and have a FAIRER skin than Tamils. Truth to be told.

    Only a FEW Tamil racists tries to bring RACISM into this.

    SL should always have a large military presence in the north.

  2. SA Kumar Says:

    SL soldiers who look BETTER than Tamilians and have a FAIRER skin than Tamils. Truth to be told.- agreed to agree
    Also they know how to speck to women in gentleman manner which We Tamil do not know!

  3. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    the only reason the Tamils see the military as a “threat” is that in their mindset the Sri Lankan military is an “alien occupying force”. They still see the Sinhalese majority as alien to them and not the other way around. they should see Sri Lankan military as Sri Lankan just like them. Anywhere in the world a nation’s military is the pride of that nation by all her citizens.

    Areas of the world where a section of the citizenry see the national military as an “invading force” that is a threat is also the section of that society that wants to break free from the nation and form their own military that they do not perceive as a “threat”.

    The very fact that Sri Lankan Tamils continue to call the Jaffna region and the Trincomalee region “Tamil homelands” even to this day and even after the end of the war means they have not and will not consider themselves as part of the Sri Lankan community till they get Eelam.

    The more the Tamils see the Sri Lankan military as a threat the greater the reason to keep the military if not increase its presence in those very areas. In the meantime it is up to Colombo to convince the Tamil children that they are Sri Lankans first and Tamils second for their parents and relatives will be actively teaching them the opposite.

  4. Nimal Says:

    There’s a strong likelihood that the terrorists will come back and it’s the duty of the gosl to put the security forces where ever they like.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2018 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress