Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012United States Department of State •Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
was a serious problem. Violence and discrimination against women wereproblems, as were abuse of children and trafficking in persons. Discriminationagainst persons with disabilities and against the ethnic Tamil minority continued,and a disproportionate number of victims of human rights violations were Tamils.Discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation and againstpersons with HIV/AIDS were problems. Limits on workers’ rights and child laborremained problems. The government prosecuted a very small number of officials implicated in humanrights abuses but had yet to hold anyone accountable for alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law that occurredduring the conflict that ended in 2009.During the year unknown actors suspected of association with progovernmentparamilitary groups committed killings, kidnappings, assaults, and intimidation of civilians. There were persistent reports of close, ground-level ties betweenparamilitary groups and government security forces.
Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life
There were reports that the government, its agents, or its paramilitary alliescommitted arbitrary or unlawful killings, but reliable statistics on such killingswere difficult to obtain, because past complainants were killed and some familiesfeared reprisals if they filed complaints.Among these arbitrary or unlawful killings, there were reports of suspects detainedby police or other security forces who died under questionable circumstances. Forexample, on April 15, police arrested Chandraisiri Dassanayake, a main witness ina human rights violation case against the Wadduwa Police, for possession of marijuana. He later died in a cell in the Wadduwa police station. In response, theinspector general of police transferred several officers from the Wadduwa station,including the officer in charge, to other police stations.While the overall number of extrajudicial killings appeared to decrease fromprevious years, killings and assaults on civilians by government officials was aproblem. For example, on February 29, Waligapola ruling party local councilorSabha Wasantha fatally beat Amila Pradeep Kumar. On March 12, Wasanthasurrendered to the Rathnapura police. The case continued at year’s end.