Sri Lanka official denies allegations of torture, rape

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 10:34:30 AM. VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Sri Lanka's defense minister denied Tuesday that his country committed torture and rape of suspected rebels, as charged by more than 50 men of the island's Tamil ethnic minority who are seeking political asylum in Europe. Kapila Waidyaratne called the claims of abuses 'baseless and unfounded.' 'The government of Sri Lanka is for zero tolerance with regard to
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Sri Lanka's defense minister denied Tuesday that his country committed torture and rape of suspected rebels, as charged by more than 50 men of the island's Tamil ethnic minority who are seeking political asylum in Europe. Kapila Waidyaratne called the claims of abuses "baseless and unfounded." "The government of Sri Lanka is for zero tolerance with regard to sexual abuse and so on," Waidyaratne told The Associated Press as he attended the U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial conference in Vancouver. The allegations came in a Nov. 8 report by the AP on the asylum seekers and their claims of being abducted and tortured by Sri Lanka's current government. The Tamils said they were raped, branded or beaten repeatedly. The AP reviewed 32 medical and psychological evaluations and interviewed 20 men. The men said they were accused of trying to revive a rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or Tamil Tigers, which was on the losing side of Sri Lanka's civil war. Fighting ended eight years ago, but the torture and abuse occurred from early 2016 to as recently as this past July, the men said. Waidyaratne said Sri Lanka's government investigated all allegations. "The investigations that have been carried out have been concluded and closed," he said. The men said they were accused of working with the Tamil Tigers, which Sri Lanka has said is no longer a threat. Nearly all of the men were branded with tiger stripes. One man had...Read more
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