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Sri Lankan official evades questions on torture at UN committee hearing

Sri Lanka’s delegation to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) deflected questions from UN experts regarding a member of the delegation’s knowledge of well-documented cases of torture by Sri Lanka’s armed forces and Terrorism Investigation Department (TID).

The questions were directed at Sri Lanka’s Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis, who was a senior figure in Sri Lanka’s infamous Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) during the final stages and shortly after the end of the armed conflict.

Mr Mendis failed to answer when the UNCAT Panel Vice Chair Felice Gaer asked,

“Can you tell us whether you or officers under your responsibility jointly interrogated persons deprived of liberty together with military offices or with members of the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID)?”

Sri Lanka’s Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya who led the country’s delegation to the UNCAT hearing in Geneva later said that Sri Lanka would respond in writing to questions within 48 hours, and provide  “comprehensive answers to areas where we can,” reports the Washington Post.