A Tamil war widow who gave evidence before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has been summoned by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Colombo.
The CID have allegedly asked the widow and mother of four, Ratnam Poongoothai from Amparai, to report to Colombo for further questioning, regarding the evidence she gave to the LLRC.
See report from TamilNet here.
She testified before the LLRC, and pleaded with them to help locate her sister, also a widow and a mother of three who had been abducted by Iniyapaarathi, a cadre of the Karuna paramilitary group. Iniyapaarathi now holds the post of Ampaarai district coordinating officer of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Poongoothai told the commission that she was also abducted and tortured with her sister, but managed to escape after 10 days, and how her sister was gang raped.
Despite Sri Lanka’s assurances that witnesses would be protected, her details were passed on to the law enforcement authorities.
“LLRC told me to attend the interview. I am afraid to attend it alone as I am fear of my security, people who gave me a hard time after testifying in front of LLRC are there”,
The LLRC come under criticism for being deeply “flawed”, not having the mandate to investigate human rights abuses and for not providing adequate witness protection. Commissioners were composed of Sri Lankan Government supporters and some even fell asleep while witnesses gave evidence.
The report from the LLRC will be submitted to Parliament and made public on Novermber 19th, according to President Rajapakse.
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