New issue of Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives is now available
The Following statement issued by the Asian Human Rights Commission, a regional rights group headquartered in Hong Kong SAR
( May 23, 2014, Hong Kong , Sri Lanka Guardian) The latest issue of Torture: Asian and Global Perspective is now available. In this issue we have exclusive reports on the Mass Graves in Sri Lanka. The report contains full detail of an extensive investigation conducted by the group of Sri Lankan forensic specialists on the case of the Chemmani Mass graves in Jaffna, a former war zone in the Island nation.
The investigative research has been published exclusively, with supported insights and other evidence, provided by reliable sources. This report is our first attempt to reveal the bitter truth of the miserable history of the Island nation which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives of unarmed civilians in less than four decades. According to reliable sources, there are around 30-40 mass graves in Sri Lanka.
Mass graves in post-independence Sri Lanka were first reported following the 1971 youth uprising led by the Peoples Liberation Front (known locally as JVP) which was brutally terminated by the then government. However the locations of these post 1971 mass graves are hidden from the public knowledge. Numerous mass graves have been clandestinely created by the Sri Lankan government during the second youth uprising led by the same political party in the 1987-1990 period. Virtually all mass graves reported in the northern and eastern provinces of the country were resulted from the thirty year long civil war between the LTTE and the ruling governments which ended in 2009 and said to have contained the remains of minority Tamil speaking people died during the war.
The Chemmani Mass graves is the only one that the government of Sri Lanka has allowed the conduct of authentic and scientific investigation with the minimum political and military influences. Whereas all other cases the excavation and investigations have been hampered due to severe political and military influence. Recent unearthed mass graves such as those in Mannar and Matale also faced similar situations due to heavy military influence. It has been confirmed now that a key player of the government is one of those responsible for the Mass Graves in Matale, when he was an army officer in the area.
“Thousands of relatives of those victims of mass killings are screaming for justice, but the government is doing its best to prevent justice”, a reliable source told us.
We were able to published three related analyses of our main subject in which writers argue about the importance of a functional criminal justice system in the country. Ms. Kishali Pinto Jayawardene, a prominent activist and writer based in Colombo, came up with her excellent insight on the issue of disappearances in Sri Lanka, while Mr. Basil Fernando, a prominent human rights activist and jurist, currently a director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, based in Hong Kong, argued the core notions of the state mechanism in an use of improper force and violence in the country. Meanwhile, Ms. Melanie Klinkner, a senior lecturer in Law at Bournemouth University, England, took up the issue of mass grave investigations for international criminal procedure.
Apart from the cover story and the related analyses we have featured a column by Mr. Juan E. Méndez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, in which he commemorated the 10th year anniversary of the Abu Ghraib torture scenario led by the US led alliance. Meanwhile, Ms. Urmila Bhoola, the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Slavery and Mr. Jens Modvig, who is an elected member of the United Nations Committee Against Torture, talked to us exclusively.
In addition to these issues an inside story of the caged people in Hong Kong, a film review on one of most controversial movies, Nymphomaniac, a Danish drama film written and directed by Lars von Trier, two decades after the Rwanda’s genocide, challenges in elimination of torture, are also featured in this issue. A new feature that we are introducing in this issue, is ‘Voice from the Grassroots’. In this issue we talked to a grass root activist based in Colombo, who is working mainly on mass graves, police torture, and enforced disappearances in the country.
The online version of the issue will be available soon.
Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives is a bi-monthly magazine which focuses on torture and its related issues globally. Writers interested in having their research on this subject published, may submit their articles to firstname.lastname@example.org