The wave of terror in Jaffna by Sri Lanka Army-backed paramilitaries serves to undermine planned international efforts to restore normalcy in the peninsula.
The all-pervasive climate of terror being engineered in the Jaffna peninsula is intended to stifle the revival of Tamil political and economic activity there. The brutal killings, abductions, ‘disappearances’ and intimidation are not random or manifestations of ‘lawlessness’, but a deliberate campaign of targeted violence with specific political and economic goals.
The categories of war crimes for which Sri Lanka’s top civilian and military leadership are responsible expanded this week to include rape , forced prostitution and trafficking into sexual slavery , based on a Wikileaked US embassy cable of May 18, 2007. (See the full text of the cable here , and a summary of the sex-related crimes it outlines here .) Tamil paramilitaries ran prostitution rings for Sri Lankan troops in government-controlled parts of the Northeast, and child sex trafficking rings using their networks in India and Malaysia, and they did so with the knowledge and support of the Sri Lankan government , the US cable revealed. Article 7, para (g), of the Rome Statute lists “rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity" as crimes against humanity "when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population." The US cable leak comes on the tenth anniversary of the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325 , which specifically addresses the impact of conflict, particularly sexual violence, on women and girls. The below report looks at the international legal context of the sexual crimes described in the US cable, Colombo's response, and some of the past documentation of rape by the Sri Lanka's armed forces.
Police investigating Saturday’s killing of senior Sri Lankan military intelligence officer have revealed that the shots were fired by a person who was travelling with him at the time of the killing. Lt. Colonel Rizvi Meedin, who reportedly commanded the army’s intelligence unit in Colombo, was found shot dead inside his official vehicle near his home in the Kiribathgoda housing scheme area on Saturday night. ‘The officer had gone out in the night for some work and his wife got a call around midnight with the caller telling her that her husband has been shot,’ Army spokesman Brig Nalin...