Impunity in Sri Lanka and the Commissions of Inquiry into Disappearances
By MCM Iqbal - Thu Jul 26, 12:37 am
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Featured image by Raisa Wickrematunge
The violation of the language rights following the enactment of Official Languages Act No. 33 of 1956, started the process of human rights violations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka which eventually led to the pogroms against them in 1958, 1977, 1983 and the massacres of 2008 -2009.
To understand the upsurge of impunity and disappearances of persons in the country, there is a need to look at the insurgency of Sinhala youth in 1971 which was brutally suppressed by the police and security forces of the Government. An estimated 65,000 Sinhala youth perished in the process. That was one of the occasions that the military and the police of Sri Lanka had, practice torture, abductions and summary executions their own youth and gain experience in these methods of suppressing dissent with the tacit approval of the government. Since there had been no investigations into those incidents and no one was held responsible any of those incident, except for the case of a beauty queen from Matara being marched nude along the streets before being brutally killed. That is the period when the culture of impunity germinated in the minds of the police and security services personnel.