Foreign Ministry condemns NY Times article, says torture allegations will be investigated

Saturday, 11 November 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Foreign Ministry yesterday issued a strongly worded reply condemning the New York Times article on torture by Sri Lankan Armed Forces, outlining preventive measures taken by the National Unity Government and giving assurances that all allegations will be investigated.

The statement issued by Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam also called for assistance and cooperation of all those relevant parties in investigating the allegations, including parties outside the country, as evidence was crucial in the conduct of investigations. 

“The Government of Sri Lanka strongly condemns any act of torture, and will ensure that allegations of torture committed in the country will be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The Government seeks the assistance and cooperation of all those relevant parties in this endeavour, including parties outside the country, as evidence is key in the conduct of investigations,” the statement said. 

However, the United Nations has stated that it will take note of the allegations made against the Sri Lanka Army, brought to light by the Associated Press article published in the New York Times.

Responding to a question raised at the noon briefings on Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that the organisation would take action to ensure that no Sri Lankan Army personnel facing allegations of torture would engage in UN peacekeeping missions.

“As a matter of course, there is screening done in partnership with DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] and DFS [Department of Field Support] on ensuring that none of the troops that are committed to UN peacekeeping have any human rights abuses, allegations or issues hanging over their head.  So, that’s a screening process,” Dujarric stated.

Allegations were raised yesterday stating that several Sri Lankan men had been tortured during the tenure of the incumbent Government.