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ITJP and JDS map three decades of torture in Sri Lanka

To mark International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) have produced a torture map of Sri Lanka.

The map highlights 219 sites located across the island used for torture of Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims by the army, police, navy, and paramilitaries over the last 30 years.

Sri Lankan army officers involved in “crushing the second Janatha Vimkuthi Peramuna (JVP) uprising, went on to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity against Tamils with total impunity,” Yasmin Sooka, the Executive Director of ITJP, said.

Shavendra Silva, the current Commander of the Army, Jagath Dias, former Chief of Army Staff and Sumedha Perera, who was recently appointed a ministry secretary, were allegedly involved in the disappearances during the JVP period. They then went on to commit grave human rights violations in 2009 where tens of thousands of Tamil were killed at the end of the armed conflict.

“There is no doubt that torture in Sri Lanka is state sponsored and is an important instrument of state policy in which the full authority and structures of the state are drawn in and fully utilised to implement the policy at all levels by the security forces,” Ms Sooka said.

“To prevent further violence there must be a reckoning with the past and an acknowledgment of all victims and the dismantling of a culture of impunity in Sri Lanka,” she added.

Read the full press release here.