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Sexual Violence in Conflict Sri Lanka - An Unhealed Wound

Sexual Violence in Conflict Sri Lanka - An Unhealed Wound

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Sexual Violence in Conflict: Sri

Lanka - An Unhealed Wound
07 June 2014
Next week, the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is due to
take place in London, co-hosted by the U!s "o#ei$n Sec#eta#y, %illiam
&a$ue and the Special En'oy fo# the UN &i$h Commissione# fo# (efu$ees,
)n$elina *olie+
,n the #un up to the ESVC summit, we ha'e been #e'isitin$ the mountin$
e'idence which documents the widesp#ead, systematic and on-$oin$ use of
sexual 'iolence by S#i Lanka!s milita#y a$ainst -amils, that occu#s with
absolute impunity+
See ou# p#e'ious featu#es.
)n o#$y of #ape in final days /01 *un 10234
(ape, Sexual )ssault and "o#ced 5#ostitution of -amils in 6ilita#y-(un in
,75 camps /08 *un 10234
Sexual 'iolence in detention as to#tu#e 1009-1023 /03 *un 10234
Systematic, delibe#ate and intended to dest#oy /0: *un 10234
Lon$ histo#y of #ape by state secu#ity fo#ces /0; *une 10234
)n Unhealed %ound
(ape, sexual 'iolence and to#tu#e ha'e afflicted the -amil people fo#
decades at the hands of the S#i Lankan state and this weekend we a#e
publishin$ a#two#k and poet#y bo#n f#om the t#auma inflicted on the -amil
nation+

5aintin$s a#e by the -amil Canadian a#tist, ee#a (atnam+

#ishanthy
)s the bi#ds san$
)nd the sun fell into the sea
&e# death took place
)t the open space of white sand
No one knew about it
%hen she was bo#n a female child
She wouldn<t ha'e thou$ht of such an end
&e# mothe# neithe#
"i#st thei# look pie#ced he# like a tho#n
-hen thei# te##ible hands sei=ed he# a#ms
No sound a#ose
She fell in a faint
-hey #aped he# senseless body
,t happened
)t the open space of white sand
She was bu#ied
)t the ed$e of the salty c#emation $#ound
%hen she was bo#n
%ould she ha'e thou$ht of such an end>
Vinothini+ 100?+ 6ukamuudi Seypa'al+ Na$a#coil. alachu'adu
5athappa$am
#ishanthy uma#aswamy, 2@-yea#-old student, #aped and mu#de#ed in ?
)u$ust 299; by ; S#i Lankan )#my soldie#s afte# bein$ stopped at the
check point in aithady in *affna dist#ict+ &e# mothe#, youn$e# b#othe# and
nei$hbou#, who went out in sea#ch of he# afte# she failed to #etu#n home
that day we#e also killed+ -hei# bodies we#e found in shallow $#a'es in
Actobe# 299;+

Sexual Violence in Conflict: Sri Lanka - long history of
rape by state security forces
06 June 2014
Next week, the Global Summit to End Sexual
Violence in Conflict is due to take place in London, co-hosted by the U!s
"o#ei$n Sec#eta#y, %illiam &a$ue and the Special En'oy fo# the UN &i$h
Commissione# fo# (efu$ees, )n$elina *olie+
,n the #un up to the ESVC summit, we #e'isit the mountin$ e'idence which
documents the widesp#ead, systematic and on-$oin$ use of sexual
'iolence by S#i Lanka!s milita#y a$ainst -amils, that occu#s with absolute
impunity+
See ou# p#e'ious featu#es.
)n o#$y of #ape in final days /01 *un 10234
(ape, Sexual )ssault and "o#ced 5#ostitution of -amils in 6ilita#y-(un in
,75 camps /08 *un 10234
Sexual 'iolence in detention as to#tu#e 1009-1023 /03 *un 10234
Systematic, delibe#ate and intended to dest#oy /0: *un 10234
Sexual Violence in Conflict. S#i Lanka - lon$ histo#y of #ape by state
secu#ity fo#ces
#ishanthy uma#aswamy,
2@y, $an$ #aped and killed
by soldie#s on ? )u$ust
299;

-he use of #ape and sexual 'iolence by S#i Lankan a#med fo#ces a$ainst
-amils, fa# f#om bein$ a featu#e of the last sta$es of the a#med conflict, has
been p#ominent th#ou$h out the thi#ty yea# pe#iod of a#med conflict, as well
p#e'iously+
Cases #epo#ted befo#e 1009, include the #ape of -amil ci'ilians in the No#th-
East, pa#amilita#y #un p#ostitution #ackets in camps and the use of sexual
'iolence as to#tu#e in milita#y-#un detention facilities+
-he incidence of #ape by secu#ity fo#ces has always #emained 'astly unde#
#epo#ted+ ,n 299;, )mnesty ,nte#national, in its #epo#t, !S#i Lanka.
%a'e#in$ Commitment to &uman (i$hts!, noted.
“)mnesty ,nte#national has documented se'e#al cases of #ape by membe#s
of the secu#ity fo#ces+ Because many women a#e #eluctant to $i'e
testimony about thei# t#eatment by the secu#ity fo#ces, )mnesty
,nte#national belie'es that these testimonies #ep#esent only a f#action of a
widesp#ead patte#n of human #i$hts 'iolations+ ,n those cases #epo#ted to
)mnesty ,nte#national, the autho#ities took some initial action a$ainst the
alle$ed pe#pet#ato#s+ &owe'e#, the o#$ani=ation does not know of any
membe# of the secu#ity fo#ces who has been b#ou$ht to Custice on cha#$es
of #ape+D
A'e# the yea#s howe'e#, a few cases ha'e $ained inte#national p#ominence
afte# #i$hts $#oups such as )mnesty ,nte#national and &uman (i$hts %atch
launched campai$ns o# 'ictims b#a'ely came fo#wa#d to seek Custice+
Noto#ious incidents of sexual 'iolence pe#pet#ate by the S#i Lankan a#my
include.
An 2@ *uly 29@8, th#ee -amil school$i#ls we#e #aped by S#i Lankan a#my
soldie#s in *affna+ Ane of the 'ictims committed suicide+ -his incident
spa#ked the infamous pe#iod of anti--amil #iotin$ commonly known as
!Black *uly 29@8!, whe#e o'e# 8000 we#e killed by state sponso#ed mobs,
claimin$ #e'en$e fo# the killin$ of 28 Sinhala soldie#s by the L--E+
Lakshmi 5illai was #aped at he# home in -#incomalee in )u$ust 299: in
f#ont he# two sons by two a#my info#mants+ )mnesty w#ote, Ethe moti'e
may ha'e been #e'en$e as she had spoken out about bein$ #aped befo#e at
5lantain 5oint a#my camp in )u$ust 2998+ -he info#mants we#e a##ested
but late# #eleased on bail pendin$ t#ial+D
-h#ee -amil women we#e #aped by soldie#s at 5oomachcholai and
ayankaddu, Batticaloa dist#ict in *anua#y 299:+ )mnesty said the incident
could be Ein #ep#isal fo# an attack by the L--E on the nea#by a#my camp at
-handa'an'eli+D
)#umaithu#ai -ha#maletchumi, a 2?-yea#-old $i#l f#om uma#apu#am in
-#incomalee dist#ict was #aped and mu#de#ed by S#i Lankan a#my soldie#s
on22 "eb 299;, when soldie#s sto#med the 'illa$e killin$ 13 ci'iliians+
)mnesty noted.
F-he uma#apu#am incident - -he la#$est incident of
delibe#ate and a#bit#a#y killin$s of ci'ilians by the secu#ity
fo#ces since the #esumption of the a#med conflict in )p#il
299: took place at uma#apu#am, -#incomalee dist#ict, on
22 "eb#ua#y 299;+ )cco#din$ to se'e#al su#'i'o#s
inte#'iewed by )mnesty ,nte#national, 13 ci'ilians,
includin$ 28 women and se'en child#en below the a$e of
21, we#e killed by soldie#s f#om the :@th 6ile 5ost and
7ehiwatte a#my camps, accompanied by &ome Gua#ds
f#om 7ehiwatte+ -he killin$s we#e in appa#ent #ep#isal fo#
the killin$s by the L--E of two soldie#s nea# the :@th 6ile
5ost about half an hou# ea#lie#+ )cco#din$ to one witness,
a $#oup of soldie#s, some of whom we#e d#unk, $athe#ed
at 7ehiwatte Cunction and then p#oceeded towa#ds
uma#apu#am, shoutin$ Fdeath to the -amilsF+ -he
'illa$e#s of uma#apu#am had taken #efu$e inside thei#
houses+ -he soldie#s b#oke open the shutte#s and aimed
thei# $uns at the people hidin$ inside+ Ane woman
#ecounted how she pleaded with them not to shoot but to
no a'ail+ ,n he# house, se'en people we#e killed, includin$
a six-yea#-old child+
)mon$ the 'ictims was 2?-yea#-old )#umaithu#ai
-ha#maletchumi+ She was d#a$$ed f#om a boutiGue in the
'illa$e and taken to the milk collection cent#e whe#e she
was #aped befo#e bein$ shot+ )ntony *oseph, a 23-yea#-
old boy, who t#ied to stop the soldie#s f#om d#a$$in$ he#
away, was shot between his le$s+F
) 3:-yea#-old woman was #aped by soldie#s at -hiya'edduwan
checkpoint on ? 6a#ch 299; and he# husband was beaten with #ifle
butts+ Both we#e admitted to Valaichchenai hospital+ )mnesty
noted, Efollowin$ a complaint by se'e#al people of -hiya'edduwan
at Valaichchenai a#my camp, an identification pa#ade was held and
the soldie#s we#e identified and taken into custody by the milita#y
police+ ,t is not known whethe# any fu#the# action has been taken
a$ainst them+D
oneswa#y 6u#u$esapillai, a mothe# of fou#, was #aped and killed
on 2? 6ay 299? by policemen in Cent#al Camp police in the
almunai, who inse#ted a hand $#enade into he# $enitals+ -he
B#itish (efu$ee Council 5ublication, S#i Lanka 6onito# said in 6ay
299?. F5olicemen a#e accused of killin$ he# afte# $an$ #an$ by
explodin$ a $#enade inse#ted into he# 'a$ina+ -he b#utal manne# of
the mu#de# has shocked #esidents and human #i$hts wo#ke#s say
#ape is inc#easin$ly used to te##o#ise the populationF+
#ishanthy uma#aswamy, 2@-yea#-old student, #aped and
mu#de#ed in ? )u$ust 299; by ; S#i Lankan )#my soldie#s afte#
bein$ stopped at the check point in aithady in *affna dist#ict+ &e#
mothe#, youn$e# b#othe# and nei$hbou#, who went out in sea#ch of
he# afte# she failed to #etu#n home that day we#e also killed+ -hei#
bodies we#e found in shallow $#a'es in Actobe# 299;+
"a#heen ,da Ca#melitta Laila "i$e#a#do, 29-yea#-old was $an$
#aped and killed in 6anna# dist#ict by S#i Lankan a#my soldie#s on
21 *uly 2999+
Sa#athambal Sa#a'anba'ananthatku#ukal, a 19 yea#s old f#om
*affna dist#ict, was $an$ #aped and killed by S#i Lankan na'y
sailo#s on 1@ 7ecembe# 2999+
%iCikala Nanthan, 13 yea#s old and Si'amani Sinnathamby
%ee#akon, 11 yea#s old we#e #aped by S#i Lankan na'y pe#sonnel,
afte# bein$ a##ested alon$ side Si'amani<s husband and son in
6anna# on 29 6a#ch 1002+ )ll of them faced to#tu#e+
-hambipillai -hanalakshmi, 38 yea#s old, #aped on *uly ?, 1002 in
*affna+ )mnesty ,nte#national #epo#ted that S#i Lankan a#my
soldie#s we#e #esponsible+
-ha#sini ,layathamby, a 10-yea#-old woman f#om *affna dist#ict
was #aped and killed by S#i Lankan na'y pe#sonnel on 2;
7ecembe# 100:+
6a#y 6adeleine, a 1?-yea#-old was #aped and killed on *une @,
100; in 6anna#, by S#i Lankan soldie#s+ -he soldie#s also to#tu#ed
and killed he# husband, dau$hte# and son du#in$ the attack+
5#emini -hanuskodi, the Chief )ccountant fo# -(A and a 1: yea#
old uni'e#sity student f#om Batticaloa, was abducted alon$ with
fellow -(A wo#ke#s on 80 *une 100;, nea# %elikanda a#my check
point+ She was late# found #aped and mu#de#ed+ -he pa#amilita#y
$#oup #un by a#una )mman was late# implicated+
-he use of sexual 'iolence on -amils detained within state facilities is lon$-
standin$, thou$h se'e#ely unde# #epo#ted+
-he US State 7epa#tment noted in its 1001 human #i$hts situation #epo#t .
“7u#in$ 1002 the#e we#e a numbe# of #epo#ts of women bein$ #aped by
secu#ity fo#ces while in detention+ Ane such case in'ol'ed two women
a##ested in 6a#ch 1002 in 6anna# who claimed that they we#e to#tu#ed and
#epeatedly #aped by na'al and police pe#sonnel+ -he women we#e #eleased
on bail in )p#il 1002 and filed cha#$es a$ainst thei# assailants+ )t yea#!s
end, the 23 accused we#e standin$ t#ial fo# #ape, to#tu#e, o# both+ )
fundamental #i$hts case also was opened a$ainst the accused+ "ou# othe#
cases in which the secu#ity fo#ces a#e accused of #apin$ women in
detention still we#e pendin$ at yea#!s end+D
Sexual 'iolence within state ,75 camps has also been noted lon$ befo#e the
mass displacement seen at the end of the a#med conflict in 1009+
,n a leaked US embassy cable, dated 2@ 6ay 100?, the then US
)mbassado#, (obe#t A! Blake, #epo#ted the #unnin$ of p#ostitution #in$s by
pa#amilita#y $#oups acti'ely endo#sed by the $o'e#nment+
See he#e fo# full cable, ext#act #ep#oduced below.
F)lle$ations of $o'e#nment complicity in c#imes committed by o#$ani=ed
pa#amilita#y $#oups ha'e mounted in the last yea#+ 5a#amilita#ies such as
the Libe#ation -i$e#s of -amil Eelam /L--E4-b#eakaway a#una $#oup and
Eelam 5eople!s 7emoc#atic 5a#ty /E5754 ha'e helped the Go'e#nment of S#i
Lanka /GSL4 to fi$ht the L--E, to kidnap suspected L--E collabo#ato#s, and
to $i'e the GSL a measu#e of deniability+ -he GSL, which denies any links
to pa#amilita#y $#oups, has #ecently touted its effo#ts to imp#o'e its human
#i$hts #eco#d, such as the #e-publication of p#ocedu#es on a##ests and
detentions and the appointment of a FAne-6an CommissionF to in'esti$ate
#epo#ted disappea#ances /#ef C4+ &owe'e#, these effo#ts so fa# appea#
aimed mo#e at imp#o'in$ S#i Lanka!s ima$e ab#oad and ha'e yet to
p#oduce conc#ete imp#o'ements in the human #i$hts situation+ Autside the
capital, the incidence of human #i$hts abuses has continued, includin$
ext#aCudicial killin$s, abductions, child t#affickin$, exto#tion, and
p#ostitution+
HHHHHHHHHHHH also explained that a#una ope#ates p#ostitution #in$s out
of the ,75 camps to Ftake ca#e ofF GSL soldie#s, statin$ that the women
Fhad no choiceF but to acGuiesce to a#una cad#es! demands+
HHHHHHHHHHHH and HHHHHHHHHHHH independently desc#ibed how women
a#e fo#ced into p#ostitution, o# to $i'e up thei# child#en to t#afficke#s+ -he
methods a#e simila# to those in *affna /pa#as 2?-2@4+ "amilies sometimes
t#y to a##an$e thei# dau$hte#s! ma##ia$es at the a$e of 21 o# 28 in the hope
that it will #educe the likelihood of thei# bein$ fo#ced into p#ostitution+
21+ /S4 )lthou$h the GSL has consistently denied suppo#tin$ a#una,
HHHHHHHHHHHH allowed 5olAff to listen to tapes of his inte#'iew with
Gothabaya+ -he 7efense Sec#eta#y was effusi'e in his p#aise fo# a#una
and the S,57,S benefits the GSLHHHHHHHHHHHHF
Sexual Violence in Conflict: Sri Lanka -
systematic deliberate and intended to destroy
05 June 2014
Next week, the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is due to
take place in London, co-hosted by the U!s "o#ei$n Sec#eta#y, %illiam
&a$ue and the Special En'oy fo# the UN &i$h Commissione# fo# (efu$ees,
)n$elina *olie+
,n the #un up to the ESVC summit, we #e'isit the mountin$ e'idence which
documents the widesp#ead, systematic and on-$oin$ use of sexual
'iolence by S#i Lanka!s milita#y a$ainst -amils, that occu#s with absolute
impunity+
See ou# p#e'ious featu#es.
)n o#$y of #ape in final days /01 *un 10234
(ape, Sexual )ssault and "o#ced 5#ostitution of -amils in 6ilita#y-(un in
,75 camps /08 *un 10234
Sexual 'iolence in detention as to#tu#e 1009-1023 /03 *un 10234
Sexual Violence in Conflict. S#i Lanka - systematic, delibe#ate and intended to dest#oy
5hoto$#aph Salem News
-estimonies collected f#om the 'ictims and f#om those within the S#i Lankan
milita#y su$$est sexual 'iolence a$ainst -amils, fa# f#om bein$ confined to
one #o$ue detention cent#e o# #e$iment, was widesp#ead and systematic+
) fo#me# UN field office#, p#esent du#in$ the final months of the a#med
conflict, told &uman (i$hts %atch.
“) la#$e numbe# of women fleein$ f#om the conflict a#eas du#in$ the peak
of fi$htin$ we#e sexually assaulted+ -he abuse was extensi'e, causin$ a
la#$e numbe# of ci'ilians to flee back to the theate# of conflict to escape the
abuseD
Examinin$ 30 cases of sexual 'iolence and to#tu#e in detention facilities
ac#oss the No#th-East and in Colombo, autho#s of the !)n Unfinished %a#.
-o#tu#e and Sexual Violence in S#i Lanka 1009I1023!, which includes
Jasmin Sooka, co-autho# of the UN 5anel of Expe#ts #epo#t on mass
at#ocities in S#i Lanka, concluded.
“-he simila#ity of the to#tu#e, #ape and sexual 'iolence pe#pet#ated a$ainst
the witnesses confi#ms a well-o#$anised patte#n of systematic abuse on the
pa#t of the Go'e#nment of S#i Lanka secu#ity fo#ces+D
6any analysts ha'e desc#ibed a delibe#ate policy of sexual 'iolence, not
only as a means of to#tu#e on indi'iduals, but to te##o#ise the -amil
population as a whole+
Examinin$ the on-$oin$ use of sexual 'iolence a$ainst -amils in detention
facilities in S#i Lanka since the a#med conflict ended, &uman (i$hts %atch,
in its #epo#t published in "eb#ua#y 1028, !%e %ill -each Jou a Lesson! -
Sexual Violence a$ainst -amils by S#i Lankan Secu#ity "o#ces<, said sexual
'iolence was intended Eto instill te##o# in the b#oade# -amil populationD+
-he $#oup!s U di#ecto#, 7a'id 6epham, said,
F-he#e is method in this+ ,t is coe#ci'e+ ,t is a delibe#ate policy+ 5eople
th#ou$hout the secu#ity fo#ces in S#i Lanka a#e in'ol'ed+ -his is deeply
ent#enched and systematic+F
&(%!s )sia ad'ocacy di#ecto#y, *ohn Sifton noted.
“Not only is #ape systematic, but it<s indicati'e of a la#$e# patte#n of abuse+
-his is not #econciliation, but an effo#t to say, KJou lost the wa#, now we<#e
in cha#$e,D
,n an inte#'iew to Vo), 6# Sifton added,
“-he p#oblem is #eally on a systemic le'el+ (e$a#dless of who committed
these specific abuses, a bi$$e# Guestion is, will any hi$h le'el officials in the
S#i Lankan milita#y e'e# be held accountable fo# the fact that they allow
thei# fo#ces to en$a$e in abuses as a matte# of cou#se, as a systemic issue,
and fail to hold them accountable+ 5eople who allow an enti#e milita#y
st#uctu#e to enCoy almost complete impunity in te#ms of #ape, sexual
abuse, and othe# abuses a$ainst -amil ci'ilians, they should be held
accountable fo# that as well, not Cust fo# the actual physical acts of soldie#s,
but fo# thei# de#eliction of duty and thei# failu#es hold thei# own fo#ces
accountable,D
-he extent of sexual 'iolence and st#uctu#al 'iolence inflicted on -amil
women was hi$hli$hted by the #i$hts $#oup, -amils )$ainst Genocide
/-)G4, in a submission made to the UN &uman (i$hts Council ea#lie# this
yea# L !,ntent to dest#oy. An$oin$ 'iolence and 'iolations a$ainst -amil
women!+
-he executi'e summa#y is #ep#oduced below.
“%omen<s bodies ha'e histo#ically been a seconda#y battlefield in the
theate# of wa#, a space whe#e 'icto#s claim thei# spoils and nations plant
thei# fla$+ ,n S#i Lanka post-1009, -amil women<s bodies in the No#th and
East ha'e become both the site of a 'iolent Sinhalisation+ p#ocess and thei#
only means of su#'i'al in a milita#i=ed en'i#onment+ 7i#ect inte#'iews and a
compilation of seconda#y sou#ces #e'eal that in the pe#iod f#om 100@-1028
women lost thei# #ep#oducti'e #i$hts, we#e fo#ced into coe#ci'e sexual
#elationships o# ma##ia$es, and faced the constant th#eat of #ape, e'en as
they despe#ately t#ied to escape the island+ -hese acts collecti'ely hi$hli$ht
the st#uctu#al 'iolence that ma#$inali=es -amil women and subCu$ates -amil
society+ 7ue to the cultu#al positionin$ of -amil women, these acts $o fa#
beyond the immediate physical and psycholo$ical dama$e to the indi'idual
woman, they also se#'e to humiliate -amil men and #einfo#ce -amil
powe#lessness+ Violations a$ainst -amil women a#e a powe#ful symbolic
display of the domination of the Sinhala Buddhist state and maCo#ityM they
a#e one of the my#iad ways by which the state seeks to dest#oy the
essential foundations of the life of the -amil people+D
See he#e and he#e, fo# #epo#ts of coe#ci'e bi#th cont#ol in the -amil a#eas+
6a#$a#et Awen, the di#ecto# of %idows fo# 5eace th#ou$h 7emoc#acy, an
o#$anisation that is acti'ely in'ol'ed in launchin$ the B#itish $o'e#nment!s
confe#ence a$ainst sexual 'iolence in conflict next week, said at a panel
discussion in the &ouses of 5a#liament last month that the c#ime was
Eo#$anisedD f#om the those at the top of the S#i Lankan state+
&i$hli$htin$ sexual 'iolence in conflict, 6s Awen was nonetheless c#itical of
the continued lack of Custice and inte#national inaction.
“%e need to end this, holdin$ confe#ences, yet denyin$ Custice fo# these
women,D
“,t!s not adhoc+ -hese #apes come f#om the top+ ,t!s o#$anised, it is a fo#m
of $enocide of the -amil people,D
Sexual Violence in Conflict: Sri Lanka -
detention and torture !""#-!"$%
04 June 2014
Next week, the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is due to
take place in London, co-hosted by the U!s "o#ei$n Sec#eta#y, %illiam
&a$ue and the Special En'oy fo# the UN &i$h Commissione# fo# (efu$ees,
)n$elina *olie+
,n the #un up to the ESVC summit, we #e'isit the mountin$ e'idence which
documents the widesp#ead, systematic and on-$oin$ use of sexual
'iolence by S#i Lanka!s milita#y a$ainst -amils, that occu#s with absolute
impunity+
See ou# p#e'ious featu#es.
An orgy of rape in final days /01 *un 10234
Rape, Sexual Assault and Forced Prostitution of Tamils in Military-
Run in IDP camps/08 *un 10234
Sexual Violence in onflict! Sri "an#a $ detention and torture %&&'-
%&()
5hoto$#aph &(%
7espite the end of the a#med conflict, the use of sexual 'iolence by S#i
Lanka!s milita#y a$ainst -amil women and men continued, with -amils
#outinely a##ested and detained indefinitely usin$ the count#y!s d#aconian
anti-te##o# laws+
-he#e a#e on-$oin$ #epo#ts of sexual 'iolence a$ainst -amils in detention to
the p#esent day, with many 'ictims #ecountin$ sexual 'iolence used as a
means of to#tu#e to ext#act confessions+
,n 1021, -amils )$ainst Genocide /-)G4, examined witness testimonies of
-amils depo#ted back to S#i Lanka+ ,n its #epo#t !(etu#nees at (isk.
7etention )nd -o#tu#e in S#i Lanka!, -)G noted.
“The majority of the cases that reported abuse reported similar
forms of physical torture, with 6 verified as having experienced
additional forms of sexual torture. In all of the cases reviewed,
judges found legitimate claims of severe torture to be “supported
by photographic evidence and the medical reports” as well as
through “psychological assessment”. everal of the applicants
suffer from continued physical pain as well as forms of mental
illness caused by severe trauma.D
Ea#ly last yea#, &uman (i$hts %atch, in a 232-pa$e #epo#t entitled E%e %ill
-each Jou a LessonD - Sexual Violence a$ainst -amils by S#i Lankan
Secu#ity "o#ces<, detailed ?: cases of #ape, includin$ that of 82 men, 32
women, and th#ee boys a$ed unde# 2@+ )ll cases we#e #epo#ted to ha'e
occu##ed f#om 100;-1021 in both official and sec#et detention cent#es
ac#oss S#i Lanka+
Object 1
&(% stated that the #epo#t only accounts fo# Ea tiny f#action of custodial
#apeD+ 6any of the cases followed simila# patte#ns of detention, followed by
to#tu#e and #ape by secu#ity fo#ces, whilst bein$ inte##o$ated about EL--E
acti'itiesD+
Victims #epo#ted bein$ fo#ced to si$n confessions in Sinhalese, a lan$ua$e
they did not unde#stand, as well as bein$ fo#ced to identify and name othe#
potential EsuspectsD+ Some of the 'ictims #ecounted that they si$ned
Kconfessions< and pointed out people as L--E cad#es, knowin$ that they
we#e not, simply to put an end to the to#tu#e+
-amils #etu#nin$ f#om ab#oad we#e also shown photo$#aphs of anti-
$o'e#nment p#otests that took place in 5a#is and London, and fo#ced to
identify those in the ima$es+
&(% noted. FIn all of the cases documented, the acts of rape and sexual
violence were accompanied by other forms of torture and cruel, inhuman,
and degrading treatment by state security forces.F
Ane 81-yea#-old woman, detained in ilinochchi in )p#il 1021, told &(%.
“I was beaten up and tortured continuously. !n the second day, a
man came to my room and raped me. I was raped by different
men on at least three days. I can"t remember how many times.
They would always touch my private parts after they raped me.
They spo#e in inhala but also spo#e some bro#en Tamil. I signed
a confession statement as I wanted the rapes to stop. $hile I was
in detention, my family tried to lodge a complaint with the %&'(
)%ational &uman 'ights (ommission* but they refused to register
a complaint. +y family also approached some members of
parliament. %obody helped us.D
) 2?-yea#-old -amil boy, detained in *affna in No'embe# 1009, said.
“!ne officer performed sexual acts in front of me. &e then raped
me. I lost consciousness. I was bleeding heavily from my anus.D
,n No'embe# last yea#, the BBC #epo#ted on 21 cases of men and women
who we#e subCected to sexual 'iolence in detention in 1028+
See he#e fo# the BBC #epo#t, by fo#me# co##espondent to S#i Lanka and
autho# of !Still Countin$ the 7ead!, "#ances &a##ison+
-he latest e'idence eme#$ed f#om a #epo#t published as #ecently as
"eb#ua#y this yea# - !,n -nfinished $ar. Torture and exual /iolence in ri
0an#a 122341256! - by Jasmin Sooka, an autho# of the UN 5anel of
Expe#ts #epo#t on mass at#ocities in S#i Lanka, -he Ba# &uman (i$hts
Committee of En$land and %ales /B&(C4 and -he ,nte#national -#uth
NampM *ustice 5#oCect, S#i Lanka, detailed #epo#ts of sexual 'iolence in
detention ca##ied out f#om 1009, till the be$innin$ of this yea#+
-he #epo#t includes 30 swo#n statements f#om -amil witnesses, #ecountin$
abductions and to#tu#e that all occu##ed within the time f#ame of 6ay 1009
to "eb#ua#y 1023, with o'e# half of the abductions ha'in$ taken place
du#in$ 1028 and 1023+
“,ll detainees were sexually assaulted, with many witnesses 7uite
young and having no experience of sexual intercourse. ome
detainees were mothers of babies or young children. +ost
detainees, male and female, were raped, confirming that they had
experienced vaginal or anal penetration or both. +any were raped
on more than one occasion with most sexual violence occurring in
their private holding cell. +ost were raped after enduring repeated
physical torture in the torture chamber. $itnesses report being
raped violently, usually amid verbal abuse and derision by one or
two men, sometimes more. $itnesses allege that the men did not
wear condoms when raping them.D
)n 2@-yea#-old male detainee said.
“The door to where the women were #ept was slightly open. I saw
a female cadre lying on her bac# on the floor. he was totally
na#ed. I clearly saw a soda bottle shoved inside her vagina. &er
arms were spread out wide, as were her legs. The door was not
open enough to see the other two girls. I could not tell if the girl or
the others were alive. %one of them was ma#ing any sound and
the girl I saw was not moving.D
7etention locations a#e mainly in the No#th-East, includin$ 6anna#, *affna,
ilinochchi, Va'uniya, 5-, -#incomalee and Batticaloa, whe#e a#bit#a#y
a##est and disappea#ances continue despite the passin$ of fi'e yea#s+ )
numbe# of 'ictims also desc#ibe facin$ sexual 'iolence whilst detained in
Colombo+
Ext#acts f#om the #epo#t published below.
“The evidence of the witnesses suggested that the security forces
were wor#ing together and in most instances there was more than
one branch involved in the detention and torture. 8iven that the
abductors sometimes travel to high security 9ones or military
camps they would re7uire inter:agency cooperation amongst the
various branches of the security forces, as well as orders and
clearances from superiors to enter these areas. +ore broadly
travelling through heavily militarised areas with fre7uent
chec#points would also re7uire the involvement of other units of
the security forces.F
;Interrogation was almost always about 0TT< involvement despite
the interrogators, in many cases, being in possession of the
answers and often already having the evidence to prove it.
$hat they purported to be loo#ing for usually appeared to be a
wider understanding both of the status of existing networ#s as
well as historical events. They wanted informers. ,nother #ey
motive appeared to be the punishment of those who testified
before the 0essons 0earned (ommission or whose families
reported cases to the &uman 'ights (ommission, or those who
had peacefully protested war crimes and human rights abuses
from abroad.
+ost detainees are tortured every time they are interrogated.
Indeed, almost all witnesses reported torture continuing after they
had admitted their involvement with the 0TT<.;
) male 'ictim #ecounted the to#tu#e he expe#ienced.
F&e used one hand to s7uee9e my nec# while I was standing and
then he reached down with his other hand and s7uee9ed my penis
and testicles. &e told me “you are a Tamil dog and should not
have any future generations”. &e s7uee9ed hard and it caused me
terrible pain. &e told me to hold his penis. $hen I refused he
slapped me and told me “Tamil dog you will be dead if you do not
hold it”. In fear I held it. = !n one occasion one of the army
guards came in and urinated on me. $hile doing so he told me,
“you Tamils need a separate state. If you want a separate state
you will have to ta#e a bath in our urine.D
02 June 2014
Next week, the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is due to
take place in London, co-hosted by the U!s "o#ei$n Sec#eta#y, %illiam
&a$ue and the Special En'oy fo# the UN &i$h Commissione# fo# (efu$ees,
)n$elina *olie+
,n the #un up to the ESVC summit, we #e'isit the mountin$ e'idence which
documents the widesp#ead, systematic and on-$oin$ use of sexual
'iolence by S#i Lanka!s milita#y a$ainst -amils, that occu#s with absolute
impunity+
See yeste#day!s featu#e. )n o#$y of #ape in final days /01 *un 10234
(ape, Sexual )ssault and "o#ced 5#ostitution of -amils in 6ilita#y-(un in
,75 camps
5hoto$#aph &(% - )#unachalam Camp, 6enik "a#m 29 )u$ust 1009
)s the a#med conflict d#ew to an end in 6ay 1009, an
estimated 800,000 -amils, who had faced #epeated displacement, shellin$
and a se'e#e lack of humanita#ian aid, we#e fo#ced into ,75 camps #un by
the milita#y and detained the#e fo# se'e#al months on end+
(epo#ts of #ape, sexual assault and fo#ced p#ostitution #in$s #un by the
milita#y soon be$an to eme#$e f#om the camps+
) -amil medic, based in the U who had been wo#kin$ as an aid wo#ke# in
the Vanni du#in$ the a#med conflict befo#e bein$ detained in the noto#ious
6enik "a#m camp, 7amil'any uma#, told -he Abse#'e#.
FSexual abuse is somethin$ that was a common thin$, that , pe#sonally
saw+ ,n the 'isito# a#ea #elati'es would be the othe# side of the fence and
we would be in the camp+ Gi#ls came to wait fo# thei# #elati'es and milita#y
office#s would come and touch them, and that!s somethin$ , saw+
F-he $i#ls usually didn!t talk back to them, because they knew that in the
camp if they talked anythin$ could happen to them+ ,t was Guite open,
e'e#yone could see the milita#y office#s touchin$ the $i#ls,F
F-amil $i#ls usually don!t talk about sexual abuse, they won!t open thei#
mouths about it, but , hea#d the office#s we#e $i'in$ the women money o#
food in #etu#n fo# sex+ -hese people we#e despe#ate fo# e'e#ythin$+F
5#ostitution #ackets we#e p#e'alent, despite $o'e#nment officials bein$
made awa#e of the p#actice, said inte#national aid wo#ke#s+ ,nte#national
humanita#ian a$encies had little o# no access, due to se'e#e #est#ictions
placed by the $o'e#nment+
Ane aid wo#ke#, who #epo#ted p#ostitution #ackets in 5ulmoddai camp,
told -he )ust#alian,
F,t!s been b#ou$ht to the attention of senio# $o'e#nment officials but no
one seems to be doin$ anythin$ about it+F
F,t!s ha#d to know whethe# it!s coe#ci'e o# not, but the#e is an a'e#a$e of
th#ee families li'in$ to a tent and it can be ext#emely difficult t#yin$ to $et
p#i'acy+ Jou can ima$ine the milita#y comin$ in and askin$ fo# somethin$ in
#etu#n fo# mo#e space o# mo#e fa'ou#s+F
Ane woman, with links to the camps, told Sky News of #apes and
disappea#ances within the camps.
F, belie'e the#e is sexual assault and ha#assment in the camps+ , belie'e
that these child#en and youn$ ones a#e $oin$ to $et disappea#ed, but we
don!t know what is happenin$ to them, because the#e is no info#mation,
the#e is no t#anspa#ency, we Cust don!t know what is happenin$+F
-he S#i Lankan $o'e#nment #eCected all #epo#ts of sexual 'iolence in the
,75 camps, with officials often accusin$ fellow detainees o# inte#national aid
wo#ke#s of abuse, o# dismissin$ #epo#ts as consensual+
5alitha ohona, then Sec#eta#y to the "o#ei$n 6inist#y, and subseGuently
S#i Lanka!s 5e#manent (ep#esentati'e to the UN, #eCected any alle$ations of
sexual 'iolence by the state!s secu#ity fo#ces as Fabsolute #ubbishF+
F-hese Omilita#yP a#e the $uys who a#e winnin$ the wa# - they could ha'e
#aped e'e#y sin$le woman on the way if they wanted to+ Not one sin$le
woman was #aped+F
7ismissin$ #epo#ts of p#ostitution #in$s, ohona added,
F, am su#e in a mass of people the#e may be indi'iduals who want to make
a Guick buck one way o# anothe#, but you ha'e to #emembe# the tents a#e
so close to$ethe# you can!t do anythin$ without the enti#e nei$hbo#hood
knowin$+ ,f you had a #acket $oin$, thousands of people would know about
it+F
S#i Lanka!s 7efence Sec#eta#y, Gotabaya (aCapaksa, accused the B#itish
-amil aid wo#ke#, 7amil'any uma# of fab#icatin$ the sto#y in an inte#'iew
with &eadlines -oday.
FNow, she O7amil'any uma#P says that the#e had been all these alle$ed
#ape and mu#de# and all these thin$s+ Now she is one pe#son who will $et
att#acted by soldie#s, because she is so diffe#ent f#om othe#s+
, want to know whethe# she was #aped+ She was the#e fo# one yea#+ She
came with the ,75s, and she was in the ,75 camps+F
-he pe#manent sec#eta#y to the 6inist#y of 7isaste# 6ana$ement and
&uman (i$hts, (aCi'a %iCesinha, statin$ that alle$ations of #ape by the
milita#y lacked sufficient details to be substantiated, told -he Abse#'e#.
F%e #ecei'ed a #epo#t that a soldie# went into a tent at 22pm and came out
at 8am+ ,t could ha'e been sex fo# pleasu#e, it could ha'e been sex fo#
fa'ou#s, o# it could ha'e been a discussion on )ncient G#eek philosophy, we
don!t know+F
An anothe# occasion when asked by a Sky News #epo#te# about the
alle$ations of sexual 'iolence within the camps, 6# %iCesinha #eplied.
F-he#e a#e a few blue eyed child#en in that camp, so you know that some
of the NGAs ha'e had a Colly $ood time when they we#e up in Va'uniya, so
when you $o up Cust ha'e a look and t#y and identify them+F
7espite the passin$ of fi'e yea#s, fea# of #ep#isal, psycholo$ical t#auma and
social sti$ma, ha'e #esulted in many 'ictims #emainin$ silent+
&e#e is an ext#act f#om the testimony of one woman, published in a #epo#t
- !)n Unfinished %a#. -o#tu#e and Sexual Violence in S#i Lanka 1009I1023!
- by Jasmin Sooka, an autho# of the UN 5anel of Expe#ts #epo#t on mass
at#ocities in S#i Lanka, -he Ba# &uman (i$hts Committee of En$land and
%ales /B&(C4 and -he ,nte#national -#uth N *ustice 5#oCect, S#i Lanka.
“-he fi#st time the soldie#s #aped he# in the #ehabilitation camp, she
sta$$e#ed to the toilet to wash the blood off, befo#e #etu#nin$ to he# tent in
silence+ She didn<t b#eathe a wo#d fo# shame L and fea# that one of the
othe# fo#me# -amil -i$e# #ebels in the tent mi$ht be an info#me#+
E, did not tell the othe# women ,<d been #aped as it is not somethin$ we
would discuss in ou# cultu#e+ , suspected the othe# women in my tent we#e
also bein$ #aped but , did not ask them about it+ A'e# the enti#e pe#iod ,
was in this #ehabilitation camp none of us e'e# spoke about the #apes+D
,t<s ha#d to ima$ine the loneliness and mist#ust in that tent+ Vasantha
noticed sc#atch ma#ks f#om fin$e#nails on othe# women<s faces+ %hen they
washed in the open ai# showe#s, fully clothed, she spotted the b#uises on
thei# le$s+ Sometimes she hea#d sc#eamin$ f#om the main buildin$ whe#e
they we#e taken fo# inte##o$ation+ She watched othe# women bein$ taken
away at ni$ht and always #etu#nin$ 'ia the toilet and she knew why+
Vasantha was a 'i#$in until that ni$ht when two d#unken S#i Lankan
soldie#s placed a ba$ sp#ayed with pet#ol o'e# he# head and then #aped he#+
Some months late#, she was taken fo# inte##o$ation a$ain+ ) soldie# o#de#ed
he# to st#ip naked and when she t#ied to fi$ht him off, he knocked he# to
the $#ound and #aped he#, di$$in$ his nails into he# back so ha#d that the
sc#atches bled+ Befo#e Vasantha could put he# ski#t back on a$ain, anothe#
man came into the #oom and sta#ted takin$ off his shi#t, t#ouse#s and
unde#wea#+ E&e pushed me to the floo#+ , t#ied to put up a #esistance but he
#aped me+ , could smell the alcohol on his b#eath+ , was exhausted and
fainted+ , cannot #ecall clea#ly what was happenin$ but , hea#d doo#s bein$
opened and closed and , think othe# people came into the #oom+D ,n pain
and bleedin$ hea'ily, Vasantha e'entually #etu#ned to he# tent, 'ia the
toilet once a$ain+
-he next time she was called fo# inte##o$ation, the soldie# used his
ci$a#ette butt to bu#n he# se'e#al times on the a#ms and thi$h, while sayin$
somethin$ in Sinhala that she couldn<t unde#stand+ Ance he<d finished
#apin$ he#, a second man #aped he#+ Vasantha #emembe#s these fi#st two
smelt st#on$ly of ci$a#ettes+ ) thi#d man came, slapped he# ha#d when she
t#ied to #esist, and #aped he#+D , think the#e was a fou#th and fifth man as
well,D she says, E, was in and out of consciousness by then+F
Omo#eP
Back$#ound
U "o#ei$n Sec#eta#y %illiam &a$ue calls fo#
pe#pet#ato#s of sexual 'iolence in S#i Lanka!s
conflict to be b#ou$ht to account, speakin$ in
Colombo, No' 1028
-he ESVC summit follows the 7ecla#ation of Commitment to End Sexual
Violence in Conflict, tabled by the 6# &a$ue and endo#sed by two-thi#ds of
UN membe# states, which condemns the on-$oin$ use of sexual 'iolence in
conflicts and pled$ed to ensu#e Custice fo# 'ictims+
S#i Lanka was hi$hli$hted by the US Sec#eta#y of State &illa#y Clinton as a
key count#y whe#e #ape was used as a tactic of wa#, in Actobe# 1009, only
a few months afte# the a#med conflict ended+
)dd#essin$ an UN Secu#ity Council focused on #ape in wa#, she said.
FNow, #eadin$ the headlines, one mi$ht think that the use of #ape as a
tactic of wa# only happens occasionally, o# in a few places, like the
7emoc#atic (epublic of the Con$o o# Sudan+
-hat would be bad enou$h, but the #eality is much wo#se+ %e<'e seen #ape
used as a tactic of wa# befo#e in Bosnia, Bu#ma, S#i Lanka, and elsewhe#e+
,n too many count#ies and in too many cases, the pe#pet#ato#s of this
'iolence a#e not punished, and so this impunity encou#a$es fu#the# attacks+
Speakin$ in Colombo in No'embe# last yea#, the U "o#ei$n Sec#eta#y
%illiam &a$ue calledfo# accountability and Custice fo# 'ictims of sexual
'iolence by S#i Lanka!s a#med fo#ces as pa#t of the !Q-ime-o)ct! campai$n.
F-o date, too little has been done, to hold people to account fo# c#imes of
sexual 'iolence+ -he alle$ations include #epo#ts f#om the UN panel of
expe#ts that #ape was used by $o'e#nment fo#ces du#in$ the final sta$es of
the conflict, and befo#e+D
EClaims f#om &uman (i$hts %atch that sexual to#tu#e has been used to
ext#act confessions and continued conce#ns of the 'ulne#ability of the
women and $i#ls to sexual ha#assment and abuse, pa#ticula#ly the ninety
thousand wa# widows li'in$ in a#eas with a la#$e milita#y p#esence+D
A#$y of (ape in "inal 7ays
5hoto$#aph Channel 3
)s the a#med conflict d#ew to an end, S#i Lanka!s soldie#s committed acts
of sexual 'iolence a$ainst -amil women and men, both ci'ilians and L--E
cad#e, at will+
Ane S#i Lankan soldie# told Channel 3 in *uly 1022.
F-hey OS#i Lankan soldie#sP shoot people at #andom, stab people, #ape
them, cut thei# ton$ues out, cut women!s b#easts off+ , ha'e witnessed all
this with my own eyes+ , ha'e seen small child#en layin$ dead+F
F,f they wanted to #ape a -amil $i#l, they could Cust beat he# and do it+ ,f
he# pa#ents t#ied to stop them, they could beat them o# kill them+ ,t was
thei# empi#e+F
FAne day , saw a $#oup of six soldie#s #apin$ a youn$ -amil $i#l+ , saw this
with my own eyes+F
6uch of the photo$#aphic and 'ideo e'idence of sexual 'iolence in the final
sta$es of the a#med conflict eme#$ed in the fo#m of !t#ophy 'ideos!, filmed
by S#i Lankan soldie#s themsel'es whilst committin$ the c#imes+
Ane of the latest 'ideos to eme#$e depicts soldie#s pe#fo#min$ acts of
sexual 'iolence on the st#ipped, dead bodies of -amil L--E fi$hte#s+
Object 2
7esc#ibin$ the foota$e, acclaimed documenta#y make# and di#ecto# of !S#i
Lanka!s illin$ "ields!, Callum 6ac#ae said,
FScatte#ed in the clea#in$ a#e the bodies of what appea# to be -amil -i$e#
#ebels+ -he women, but not the men, ha'e been st#ipped in a manna#
su$$estin$ sexual assault+ -hou$h many of these ima$es a#e too
dist#essin$ to be shown on tele'ision+
)t a couple of points as soldie#s lau$h, acts of $#otesGue sexual 'iolence
a#e pe#pet#ated on the bodies of one of the women+F
Simila#ly, the #ape and killin$ of L--E news ancho#, ,saiyap#iya, has come to
li$ht th#ou$h a se#ies of photo$#aphs depictin$ he# pa#tially naked in the
custody of milita#y pe#sonnel, befo#e bein$ sexually 'iolated and killed+
Object 3
7espite the $#owin$ numbe# of independently authenticated 'ideo foota$e
and photo$#aphs depictin$ soldie#s committin$ acts of sexual 'iolence, the
S#i Lankan $o'e#nment!s flatly #eCects all accusations+
(espondin$ to 'ideo foota$e published by Channel 3 News, the S#i Lankan
&i$h Commission in the U said in 6a#ch this yea#.
FJou# latest attempt to deni$#ate S#i Lanka is a continuation of you#
pe#nicious campai$n that has al#eady been exposed in the book Co##upted
*ou#nalism Channel 3 and S#i Lanka+
Jou# alle$ations a#e such unmiti$ated and unsubstantiated #ubbish that you
make e'en $utte# Cou#nalism appea# to be 5ulit=e# 5#i=e-winnin$
p#ofessionalism+
%hat makes you# Cou#nalism doubly dubious and obnoxiously unbalanced is
that you expect us to comment on foota$e which, in fai#ness, we ha'e not
e'en been $i'en the oppo#tunity of seein$ o# hea#in$+
,t is a pity that you# continuin$ p#opa$andist 'endetta a$ainst S#i Lanka
only continues to unde#mine the p#ocess of #econciliation and healin$ that
we ha'e unde#taken afte# a nea# th#ee-decade lon$ te##o#ist wa#+
,t is ce#tainly not $oin$ to help those in S#i Lanka you p#etend you a#e
helpin$ but who only wish to li'e in peace without exte#nal meddlin$ and
postu#in$+
Jou# c#ude Cou#nalism exposes both Callum and you# calumnyF+

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