Mon, 27 Sep 2021

Colombo [Sri Lanka], August 5 (ANI): Sri Lanka has the world's second-highest number of enforced disappearances, as tens of thousands of people have "forcibly disappeared" over many decades, according to Amnesty International.

These observations by the international global human rights body after the Sri Lankan Attorney General's Department on Wednesday decided not to proceed with charges against Wasantha Karannagoda, a former Navy commander, over his alleged role in the abduction of 11 Tamil youth in 2008 and 2009.

The Sri Lankan Navy is alleged to have been behind the forcible disappearance of the "Navy 11".

"Sri Lanka has the world's second-highest number of enforced disappearances, with tens of thousands of people forcibly disappeared over many decades. This case was an opportunity for the Sri Lankan authorities to deliver justice for crimes under international law, by ensuring that those reasonably suspected of criminal responsibility, including those implicated for aiding and abetting and under command responsibility, are brought to trial," Yamini Mishra, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Director, said.

"This case has already been beset by obstacles in the Sri Lankan Courts, and today's decision pushes justice further out of reach for the families of victims. The AG's department must explain the reasons for its decision, and Sri Lankan authorities must deliver truth, justice and reparations for all victims of enforced disappearance," she said.

The "Navy 11" case refers to the enforced disappearance of 11 Tamil youth in 2008-2009, allegedly in an abduction racket spearheaded by members of the Sri Lankan Navy.

According to the rights group, in August 2018 the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police arrested Lt. Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi, alias "Navy Sampath", as the main suspect.

The CID accused the then Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijeguneratne of shielding one of the main suspects, and the court also ordered his arrest, Amnesty International said. (ANI)

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