The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is studying the United States (US) Department of State country report on human rights in 2015 for similarities, differences and errors in relation to the Commission’s assessment of the same in Sri Lanka.
According to the Executive Summary of the Country Report on Sri Lanka on Human Rights Practices for 2015 by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour of the US Department of State, the major human rights problems reported during last year included the harassment of civil society activists, journalists, and persons viewed as LTTE sympathizers as well as arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, rape, and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence committed by the Police and the security forces.
Chairperson of the HRCSL, Dr. Deepika Udagama informed that according to the US report, certain practices had continued, adding that such persisting matters must be looked at.
“Based on the information the Commission gets from the field, we have a view of and observations regarding the human rights situation of the country. We must look at the similarities and differences, their observations and our observations. We must look at whether there are any errors in their report. It is too early to tell,” she added.
Other serious problems included severe prison overcrowding, the lack of due process, neglect of the rights of internally displaced persons, the physical and sexual abuse of women and children, trafficking in persons, discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation, limits on workers’ rights, child labour and widespread impunity for the crimes committed during the armed conflict and other crimes committed following the end of the conflict, particularly for cases of torture, sexual violence, corruption, and human rights abuses.