Disillusioned by exterior beauty, Sri Lanka tortures and rape become uncovered and underlying issues of corruption emerge. Tamil rape and torture victims have found their voice and begin to speak out about their suffering, in an attempt to bring an end to its persistent reoccurrence. Not only is this a shocking violation of human rights and laws, but these horrific acts are reported to be a product of the Sri Lankan security forces and have been reported to reside as a present day issue, caused by the tensions that were implanted into the civil war between the majority Sinhalese and the Tamil minority in the northeast.
In 2009 the government declared military defeated on the Tamil Tigers, who are associated with: assassinations of presidents and prime ministers, war crimes and crimes against humanity such as the employment of suicide bombers and child soldiers. Their feud acts as evidence in itself for the motives behind the mistreatment of rebel members by the governmental workforce. The UN stated that in 2009 the government were primarily responsible for the murders of innocent civilians and although they denied this, it depicts just how brutal the Sri Lankan government are willing to be in order to prohibit any political rivalry.
BBC’s recent documentary ‘Sri Lanka’s unfinished war’, interviewed Tamil torture victims where Sri Lanka tortures and rape become uncovered. It is apparent that abduction and sexually affiliated punishments are particularly common. A woman named Nandini speaks out about her abduction and rape that took place this year. She talks of how she was taken by six or seven men who came for her in a white van. They bound her hands and legs and blindfolded her before they took her on a five hour car journey. On arrival they put her in a room with guards where she was not allowed to sleep. Nandini cries as she recollects how she was raped by one man after the other and how they were dressed in army uniforms. Similarly, a woman named Vasantha talks about her abduction and how she was raped by men every three days. She chooses to remain hidden behind a screen so that her identity remains concealed, which symbolizes the terror of these women and their apprehension to disclose information upon the current situations in Sri Lanka and the immorality of a paramilitary force, whose job is supposed to act as an auxiliary to the Police and in particular therefore, abide by the law.
However these infringements upon human rights are not only limited to women. Cases of sexual abuse inflicted upon men is also a frequent occurrence. A man named Ravi reveals how he was forced to join the Tamalis and was then tortured in a rebel rehabilitation centre. His experiences tell of how men would put his testicles into a draw and slam it shut, force him to perform oral sex and if anyone fell unconscious during torture they would be urinated on. One of the worst instances is that of a man named Siva, an ex Tamali member who had a plastic pipe filled with barbed wire shoved inside his rectum and then pulled out when he screamed with pain. This resulted in the barbed wire being left inside him and doctors have said he will never fully recover from this inhumane and appalling treatment. Other records of maltreatment consisted of cigarette burns, suffocating, beatings with metal pipes and rods and being forced to sign confessions in languages not their own. Most of the 12 individuals who have come forward with assertions of torture and rape from this current year, have medical reports corroborating their stories.
Although the Tamali Tigers have proven to be a dangerous unit of people who are one of the most organized, effective and violent terrorist groups in the world and have indeed committed some inexcusable crimes themselves, this cruel and sadistic behaviour should not be endorsed and needs to be investigated further in order to put an end to this torturous conduct. We should not address a felony by committing another felony and repeat the type of behaviour that is being condemned. Especially when the people committing the offences are those ranked highly within the law who possess a large amount of authority and are protected by the government.
However, the Sri Lankan government denied all accusations made. They stated that the individuals who claim oppression is still being breathed into their country were either paid to discredit the state as it attempts to re-stabilize, or had previously been tortured by the Tamali Tigers. Regardless of the arguments for the innocence of the state, Sri Lanka tortures and rape become uncovered. Evidence suggests that the war between its people still persists in Sri Lanka and that the illicit persecution of its people is not woven into its history, but instead is a contemporary crisis that needs to be addressed directly.
By Melissa McDonald