The Article by by Prof S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole in Sri Lanka Guardian speaks volumes of the Sri Lankan Tamils’ continuing agony.
Tamils are subjected to humiliation and insults in Sri Lanka still.
The Government has replaced the LTTE in brutality.
The Tamils are caught between the Devil and the Deep Sea.
When will this end?
Please read my blogs filed under Sri Lanka,Tamils.
Excerpts from the article.
When I returned home in 1995 with our pet Dalmatian with its spots, hostile crowds gathered around us at Katunayake with shouts of Koti-Balla (Tiger-Dog). On other trips I had been taken straight to the Katunayake Police Station, and held up at Vanuniya and released after my friend travelling with me was arrested. I have been held up at Omanthai by the STF for four hours with fellow bus passengers and told that there was a change of guard at Elephant Pass and we would be held till the men from Elephant Pass arrived on foot and if they failed to arrive we would be shot.
Today, three years after the end of hostilities, Tamils arriving at Katunayake are still watched. Passengers report being asked for a bribe at immigration; some routinely seem to be handing in their passports with a few thousand rupee notes inside. It may not be necessary but the Tamil psyche believes it to be so. In LTTE times the same timid passengers paid a fee to the LTTE at Omanthai.
“Many of us bear the marks of torture on our minds and bodies, but in Sri Lanka you can’t express that you’ve been tortured. If you show your scars to [an official] you risk them telling the authorities and you would likely be detained again.” Saarheerthan, Sri Lankan torture survivor
Survivors’ well-founded fear of speaking out about torture in Sri Lanka is just one of the reasons that little information on the practice has flowed out of the country since the end of the conflict, including reported enforced disappearances and the intimidation of journalists, civil society organisations and doctors.
Keith Best, Freedom from Torture’s Chief Executive, said:
“As well as recording serious psychological impact in virtually all of the individuals whose cases are sampled in this report, the evidence also reveals high levels of visible scarring which strongly suggests a deliberate policy of ‘branding’ and an environment where perpetrators act with impunity. The experiences documented in the report of signed confessions forced through torture, fingerprinting and the deliberate infliction of visible injuries, mean that the risk of future detention and torture for survivors on return to Sri Lanka remains high, especially given the fact that in every single one of these 35 cases release from detention was resultant on the payment of a bribe. Fourteen had reported torture on their return from periods of time spent abroad.
“In light of this new evidence, the UK government must act immediately to ensure it is not returning individuals to a risk of torture in Sri Lanka. It is important that the UK Border Agency reviews and amends the country guidance information used by decision makers who consider asylum applications. While serious concerns remain, the UK should also put in place effective monitoring of any individual it forcibly returns to Sri Lanka to ensure their safety. We hope the UK government will play a leadership role within the international community to ensure that impunity for torture and other serious human rights violations in Sri Lanka is not allowed to reign. This is particularly essential as the Sri Lankan government‘s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission is widely considered to be seriously compromised and not capable of delivering justice for the Sri Lankan people.”