How credible are stories of Rape in North Sri Lanka?
Posted on June 26th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

There are time-tested ways to embarrass a country. Rape, torture, kidnapping, genocide are just a handful and with mainstream media, roped in journalists, puppet UN officials, money-hungry NGOs forming a team to project ‘allegations’ & ‘stories’ without evidence or proof, a country is automatically declared guilty by default. Rape has been defined a war crime. It is unfair that global entities are using rape as a weapon and making a mockery out of genuine cases of people who have been raped. Obviously, the negative publicity is meant to create a negative perception about Sri Lanka and its armed forces. This discussion attempts to draw attention to how credible the allegations of rape against Sri Lanka’s armed forces are.

A few headlines across the internet will show how powerful negative publicity is in generating wrong perceptions.

  •         Sri Lankan Military raping Tamil Tigers” – Telegraph, UK
  • Sri Lanka: Rape of Tamil Detainees” – Human Rights Watch – 41-page report, titled We Will Teach You a Lesson: Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces, provides detailed accounts of 75 cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse that occurred from 2006-2012 
  • ‘Sri Lankan military ‘still raping and torturing suspected rebels’ – the Guardian
  • Stop torture and rape by security forces in Sri Lanka” – International Truth and Justice Project
  • Tamils still being raped and tortured in Sri Lanka” – Frances Harrison report/BBC

The worst mass rape in history was by the Allied troops during World War 2. The rape of women from age of 8 to age of 80 is estimated to run into 2million rapes by Allied troops. More recently, the US Dept of Defense says that 19,000 sexual assaults annually occur in the US military while 237,878 are victims of rape annually in the US. The film ‘The Invisible War’ estimates that at least 500,000 women have been sexually assaulted in the US military since women joined the armed forces in the 1940s. That is an alarming number of US women raped by forces!

So too is the UN’s own findings:

  •         between 100,000-250,000 women were raped during the Rwandan genocide of Tutsi’s in 1994. Incidentally French military had fought side by side with the Rwandan army.
  • more than 60,000 women were raped during civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002)
  • more than 40,000 women were raped in Liberia (1989-2003)
  • close to 60,000 women were raped in the former Yugoslavia (1992-1995)
  • close to 200,000 women have been raped in DR Congo since 1998

Adding to the confusion is the coaching element in rape cases:

The Toronto Sun reported that Namibians are coached on what to tell the Canadian authorities when they arrive. Namibians thus claim they are fleeing from violence against lesbians, female genital mutilations and forced marriages, issues that easily draw empathy from gullible Canadians and win refugee status.

In fact the trauma coaching centres is a big money making business in the UK as well, with firms charging upto sterling pounds 5000-6000 for bruises to be inflicted to showcase they have been tortured by Sri Lankan security forces, cigarette butt burns on women to show that was part of the rape and harassment by Sri Lankan armed forces. What a lot of physical pain just to enter the UK, when all it should take is for the UK Government to allow any Tamil to immigrate to UK since tortured marks alone have sufficed to give them entry visa.

There is a political and business element in the rape scene into which UN and NGOs/INGOs are all involved. Organizations created exclusively to deal with rape obviously need funds and to obtain funds they need to have rape victims and to have rape victims the easiest way is to amongst their own network create the stories to generate shock big enough to ensure cheques flow to their accounts and generous people feel sad enough to donate for their ‘cause’.

Blame game

An aspect that cannot be ignored is the manner that all countries targeted for regime change find themselves suddenly slapped with the same set of accusations, with virtually identical statements issued from the same set of organizations and heads and confirmed by UN agencies sufficient enough for the same world leaders to declare R2P and humanitarian military intervention is the outcome. Thereafter, flow of arms to rebels and total chaos while the invading forces end up providing security for the corporates that arrive to take over all the resources that was the raison d’etre for regime change. The puppets installed are given a carte blanche to join in the booty and these are the people vying to take over and function as mouthpieces of the regime changing parties.

What is the GENOCIDE of RAPE in Sri Lanka

We have on the one hand scores of people who make allegations, spend lavishly to promote those allegations, take pains to debate and demand accountability but they cannot produce evidence. They claimed Sri Lanka killed 40,000 to 125,000 if not more Tamils but they cannot even produce 50 names of these dead. They claim Tamil refugees are harassed but it appears there are centers in the UK coaching them and paid to bruise them and then claim rape!

While these accusers have no statistics or names, the Sri Lankan authorities have.

  • Between 2008 to April 2014 there have been 105 cases of rape / 7 cases of attempted rape in both the North and East of Sri Lanka. 
  • 110 of the 112 rapes took place after May 2009 defeat of LTTE
  • Of these 112 cases – 3 rape victims have been murdered (13 year old in Delft island in 2012 / 4 year old in Manditivu by 2 persons / 45 year old in Vavuniya)
  • The 112 rape victims have been in the age group 3 years 8 months to 83 years old
  • Of these 112 rapes victims 28 have been below 10 years of age
  • None of these rapes have been committed by security forces personnel

These were all civilian rapes and it has been tragic that 28 of these cases have been Tamils raping young children some of the accused were grandfathers and fathers even teachers.

Nevertheless, since this aspect is of no interest to the human rights organizations who are determined to showcase that rape exists as a command structure in Sri Lanka’s North believing it is one of many other reasons good enough to demand the Sri Lankan forces to be removed from the North, the emphasis and publicity is given on rape by security forces ONLY, even if it means to create the story.

That’s where the HRW came in with its 2013 report titled ‘We will teach you a lesson: Sexual violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces”. It was a 140 page report giving 75 cases of ALLEGED rape between 2006-2012.  These alleged 75 cases were supposed to be the ‘widespread rape’ taking place in Sri Lanka.

 Sexual offences committed by the Army in the North – 2005 to 2013 (8 years)

  • 12 cases of rape by army personnel
  • 2 forms of action were taken a) Action filed against accused in court of law b) Army Inquiry
  • Actions by Army Inquiry :-

o   Discharged from army = 6

o   Accused not found guilty by army inquiry /but pending decision of court to decide = 1

o   Reduced to rank of Pte from L/Cpl = 1

o   Suspended on half pay = 1

o   Army inquiry pending = 3

 Sexual offences committed by the Army in the East – 2005 to 2013 (8 years)

  • 3 cases of rape by army personnel
  • 2 forms of action were taken a) Action filed against accused in court of law b) Army Inquiry
  • Actions by Army Inquiry :-

o   Discharged from army = 2

o   Army inquiry pending = 1

 Despite the false publicity on rape spread worldwide assisted by local cohorts the evidence and actions taken prove otherwise.

There are only 15 cases of rape by army personnel in 8 years (2005 to 2013) of which 8 army personnel have been discharged from the army indicating clear action taken by the military whilst parallel court of law inquiry has also been carried out.

 Why are organizations distributing rape kits?

However, there are organizations in Sri Lanka that claim rape takes place with ‘impunity’ in the North. The organization calling itself DAI is selling a rape kit at $20. The Guardian newspaper writing about the organization says During the civil and sectarian conflict, rape and other abuse was used quite unequivocally as a weapon, primarily by military forces against civilian women and children.” – we find that hard to believe with just 15 cases of rape by the army in 8 years! Ironically the DAI initiative is funded by USAID and USAID was chased out of Russia for attempting regime change!

The statement by Brad Adams of HRW is amusing too Sri Lankan security forces have committed untold numbers of rapes of Tamil men and women in custody,” Virtually all of those that claim to have been raped are those sitting awaiting refugee status and rape becomes just one of the avenues to win entry.

 Why have rapes in other parts of Sri Lanka been ignored?

Is it not strange that all the emphasis on rape is directed only on North with the single intention of pin pointing the rapes to the armed forces? No attention has been given to rapes in the rest of the country for the obvious reason that it would dismiss the objective of accusing the armed forces of rape in the North. With this likelihood clear, it puts to shame all those pretending to be concerned about rape when rape to them is only a political and commercial tool.

Sexual offences in Sri Lanka (2007 to 2013) in the 9 provinces in total = 11,531 (victim ratio 1.21:1000)

  • Western Province reported the highest rapes for the 6 year period = 2219 offences
  • Northern Province reported the least rapes for the 6 year period = 589 offences
  • Comparing sexual offences during war and post war : Both North and East provinces have seen a 3% increase in sexual offences post-war
  • Sinhalese community counts the highest victims with 9565 (Years 2007-2013)
  • Tamil community victims 1638
  • Muslim community victims 453

 What needs to be reiterated is that the ‘mass rape with impunity’ by the armed forces of Sri Lanka during an 8 year period (2005 to 2013) has just 15 cases in North Sri Lanka as against 11531 rapes taking place throughout the 9 provinces.

It is obvious where the allegations are heading and rape has become a perfect means to demoralize the armed forces as well as publicly and internationally ridicule them whilst pressuring the Government to remove the army from the North. 15 cases even with rape kits made available at $20 and rape coaching at sterling pounds 5000 has not changed the status quo for the people of Sri Lanka are not fools to fall for the lies being concocted.



One Response to “How credible are stories of Rape in North Sri Lanka?”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Going by past trends fighting the propaganda machine of the UK, India, US, UN has using facts has proved fruitless. Sometimes more powerful nations and entities will vilify a nation for their own vested interests and get away with it. The war is a prime example of outside support to a terrorist group who used propaganda to justify what they did for 30 years.

    If President Rajapaksa caved into these liars Eelam would have been the answer. he did not and the Tamil Tigers were destroyed along with Eelam. Now the same nations are using the UN to propagate more lies to push the issue of Eelam using the pen rather than the sword.

    Either constantly battle with nations who know they are lying in a fruitless attempt to gain their “trust” or ignore them and do what is needed to secure the integrity of Sri Lanka.

    Simple issues such as the death of amendment 13, the increase of the military presence in the Northern and Eastern provinces and the movement of Sinhalese into those provinces would be solid actions against empty lies.

    If Sri Lanka wants the accolade of the world she will never get it. Sri Lanka never got it during the war and now it is obvious even after destroying terrorism Sri Lanka is labeled a “terrorist” nation by the same nations who wanted Eelam. Keeping this in mind it is up to those in power in Sri Lanka to look out for the best interests of the Sinhalese Buddhists IN SPITE OF the world. Do not wait for the world to condone any actions that benefit the Sri Lankan Buddhists. That will never happen.

    If anything the war proved is how alone Sri Lanka can be. If not for the actions of President Rajapaksa who is hated by those in India, the UN to the West, Sri Lanka would still be fighting that war. Now it is time to stop the Muslims from changing Sri Lanka from a Buddhist nation into a Muslim nation. Do not expect any help from Colombo or the world. Expect rebuke, mockery and hatred.

    Great actions and great nations are not formed by the consensus of others but by the sheer determination of a few against the chorus of voices against such actions. What I have written about Sri Lanka can also be applied to any success stories to nation building across the world. Seldom to the nation builders are treated by the rest in a manner of respect. China took Tibet against the voice of the world, The US nuked Japan against the voice of the world, Pakistan was formed against the voice of the majority of Indians. The US was formed and the death of the native people happened in a negative review from the world. Israel was carved out of her old nation of Judea (later on to be occupied by Arabs) against the prevailing voice of the world that even today sides with the Arab Muslims.

    These are but a few examples and I am sure there are many more including the modern history of Sri Lanka but I believe I have made my point. do what has to be done and expect no gratitude from the world.

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