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Army denies North rape claims

2013 Oct 21

The army has denied allegations that troops in large numbers are responsible for sexual violence, sexual harassment, abuse, exploitation and other types of violence against women and girls.

Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that there have been repeated attempts to draw a “non-existent correlation” between the presence of the military in the North and insecurity of women and girls in that region.

He said that during the conflict period (January 2007 – May 2009), seven Security Forces personnel were reported as being involved in five incidents of sexual violence in the North. This is out of a total of 125 persons accused in 119 incidents for the entirety of the Northern Province. The ethnicity of the victims of these cases is 4 Sinhalese and 1 Tamil.

In the post conflict period (May 2009 – May 2012), the army spokesman says 10 Security Forces personnel were reported as being involved in 6 incidents of sexual violence in the North. This is out of a total of 307 persons accused in 256 incidents for the entire Northern Province. The ethnicity of the victims is 2 Tamil, 1 Muslim and 3 Sinhalese.

“Legal action has been taken by the Government in all of the above cases in which the Sri Lankan Security Forces personnel have been involved. The military has taken strict action to either discharge or award other punishments to these personnel. Furthermore, cases have also been filed in civil courts, some of which are pending in Courts and with the Attorney General’s Department,” the army spokesman said.

He says the inference that the presence of the military contributes to insecurity of women and girls in the former conflict affected areas is baseless and disingenuous.

“This is a part of yet another attempt by those with vested interests to propagate a culture of fear and apprehension amongst the people of the North with regard to the presence of the military in those areas,” the army spokesman added.

The spokesman insisted that the Armed Forces do not condone such acts of violence against women and girls and has taken concrete action against reported cases. (Colombo Gazette)

 

http://colombogazette.com/2013/10/18/army-denies-north-rape-claims/

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