A new report by the BBC revealed further evidence of the rape and torture of Tamils in Sri Lanka today.
The thirty minute documentary, ‘Sri Lanka’s Unfinished War’ exhibited witness statements of men and women that alleged to have faced rape and torture by the Sri Lankan forces as recently as August 2013.
Independent experts and medical reports verified the accounts of the victims to be credible and legitimate.
One of the 12 men and women that told their stories to the BBC, Vasantha, described being photographed and fingerprinted and then kicked, beaten with batons and pipes, burned with hot wires and cigarettes, submerged in a barrel of water until she thought she would drown, suffocated by having a petrol-soaked plastic bag put over her head, before being repeatedly raped by men in army uniform.
The BBC investigation also found accounts of seven Tamil men that claimed that they had been tortured in the government’s official rehabilitation programme for suspected former LTTE cadres, of which, four had official documentation to prove their enrolment on the programme.
The ordeals of the men were in stark contrast to the healthcare, education, vocational training and sports facilities that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence claimed to offer in their “world-terrorist rehabilitation programme.”
One victim, Ravi, described his torture,
“They would put my testicles in the drawer and slam the drawer shut. Sometimes I became unconscious. Then they would bring someone and force me to have oral sex with him. Sometimes if we lost consciousness during the torture they would urinate on us.
Analysing findings from the BBC, United Nations and other human rights groups, a leading British lawyer, Kirsty Brimelow, said,
“It all equates to a crime against humanity and therefore in cases like this, normally you’d be looking at them being referred to the international criminal court for further investigation”
Responding to fresh evidence of crimes against humanity, the Sri Lankan High Commission in London said,
“Allegations of systematic abuse are travesty of truth for they suggest that this is the policy is the policy of the Sri Lankan government. It is certainly not so.”
The written statement went on to suggest that the victims that spoke to the BBC could have been paid to discredit Sri Lanka or even tortured by the Tamil Tigers themselves.