The Government of Sri Lanka is clearly not ready, willing nor capable of fully implementing the Convention against Torture into its domestic law. In the past few months, Sri Lanka has come under increasing pressure to investigate credible allegations of torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
However, the Government of Sri Lanka has refused and ignored the repeated calls made by the international community for an investigation into these allegations. To date, Sri Lanka has failed to address these concerns and shows no plans of doing so in the near future. At the core of the persistence of the problem of torture in Sri Lanka is the prevailing culture of impunity. While LRWC acknowledges the difficult situation arising from the internal armed conflict in Sri Lanka, it strongly echoes the Committee Against Torture’s sentiment that no exceptional circumstances whatsoever may be invoked as a justification of torture.
LRWC respectfully submits that the Committee against Torture recommends Sri Lanka to do the following:
Become a party to the Optional Protocol to the Torture Convention, so Sri Lanka will take part in a system of regular visits by international and national bodies to places of detention in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
Release the names of prisoners currently in custody at detention centers in Sri Lanka to independent, international agencies so the treatment of prisoners may be monitored to ensure compliance with the Convention against Torture;
Ensure that an effective, transparent, independent investigative mechanism which adheres to international standards is developed and put into force so as to ensure compliance with Article 12 of the Convention against Torture;
Address the continued failure to conduct prompt, impartial and effective investigations into alleged human rights violations by law enforcement officials; and
Submit to an independent investigation into credible allegations of torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the final stages of the war.