US Ambassador raises concerns over Yukthiya operation 

Thursday, 11 January 2024 01:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung

United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung yesterday took to X (formerly Twitter) to express her concerns about the ongoing Yukthiya operation launched by the Sri Lanka Police and the Ministry of Public Security to curb drug trafficking and underworld activities in the country. 

Chung said the US shares the concerns expressed by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) and the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) about the law enforcement operation. 

“Combating drug trafficking is essential. It is also crucial that law enforcement operations uphold the principles of the rule of law and due process. Striking this balance is vital for justice and maintaining public trust,” she said. 

In a recent press release, the HRCSL noted that while preventing organised crime and the trafficking of dangerous narcotics is an important objective, the Commission has received a number of complaints concerning torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and arbitrary arrests and detention associated with the Yukithiya Operation. 

The HRCSL said the operation has accordingly become associated with reports of widespread injustice, making its very title ‘Yukthiya’ (Justice) a misnomer.

It said it is disturbed to learn of reports of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of persons, including young persons, during search operations conducted by the Police and is accordingly taking steps to inquire into such reports. “These reports are particularly egregious in a context where the Commission has received over 200 complaints of torture in 2023 alone,” it said. 

However, Minister of Public Security, Tiran Alles has vowed to continue with the operation despite the objections raised by various parties for the betterment of the country’s future generations.