Poor improvement in HR record Hardly any change from previous two years

Poor improvement in HR record Hardly any change from previous two years

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

Statistics on complaints against human rights violations registered at the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), stand at 4,121 in the first two quarters of 2017 and indicate a similar status quo or poor improvement in the HR record compared to the previous two years.

In 2015 and 2016, the total number of registered human rights violation cases stood at 8,946 and 9,171 respectively.

Last year, the registered number of threats against people stood at 492 compared to 128 in 2015. However, the number of threats recorded in the last six months of 2017 stands at 297.

HRCSL also noted that they do not maintain an ethnic breakdown of complaints.

Meanwhile, three abductions have been registered this year between the months of April and June.

Also, human rights violations on personal liberty stands at 803 in the last six months whereas in 2015 and 2016 it was 1, 767 and 1, 814 respectively.

The increased number of complaints recorded at the HRCSL in 2015 and 2016 was mainly due to the regime change and the confidence in good governance that was ‘felt’ and assured.

HRCSL noted however, that this year’s first six months registered 4, 121 complaints (Jan – March 2287, April – June 1834).
According to sources, it may remain the same compared to the last two years or may accelerate.

In the first two quarters of 2017, the number of arbitrary arrests and detentions total 209 whereas in 2015, Arbitrary Arrests and Detention numbered 490 and dropped to 441 in the year 2016.

Human rights violations on Land and Property rights in the last six months of 2017, shows a total of 258 complaints in the country.

Further, the total number of physical and mental torture incidents recorded in the last six months of this year are 172 whereas in the year 2015 and 2016 HRCSL recorded 415 and 415 respectively. On foreigners complaining of HR violations, HRCSL noted that despite there being nothing so far, they have taken up the issue of the Rohingya asylum seekers and refugees of their own accord and made interventions to ensure their protection. Additionally, HRCSL visits the Foreign Nationals Holding Centre, Mirihana regularly to monitor the conditions of those detained and have made a number of interventions and recommendations to protect their rights.

HRCSL has started maintaining accurate statistics only from the year 2015 and noted that before that, there were no proper records maintained.


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