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Sri Lanka defends stance on torture in letter to New York Times

The Sri Lankan government has defended its 'zero tolerance policy' on torture, following an article by the Associated Press, detailing ongoing torture and rape by Sri Lankan security forces.

In a letter to the New York Times, Sri Lanka's Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prasad Kariyawasam, said,

“The Government of Sri Lanka strongly condemns any act of torture, and will ensure that allegations of torture committed in the country will be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The government of Sri Lanka does not condone or tolerate any form of torture and seeks to work with all, including bilateral partners, as well as international organisations, to seek their assistance interms of sharing experiences and expertise, as well as technical support, to ensure the elimination of despicable practice and prosecute anyone responsible.”

The letter included a refutal of torture claims saying, "we have welcomed and continue to welcome visits by human rights organisations, including to the places where allegations of torture have been made, so that they can see for themselves that such illegal and reprehensible actions are not taking place in the country."

The Secretary went on to describe steps Sri Lanka alleged to take to prevent torture, and requested the official government response to be published in the New York Times.

See full letter here.

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