NESoHR: Two thirds of civilian deaths caused by extrajudicial killings
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 December 2008, 13:29 GMT]
Since 2002, two thirds of the conflict related civilian deaths have been caused by extrajudicial killings, said North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESoHR) in a press statement issued on Tuesday. Stating that the assessment was a moderate attempt to throw some light on the phenomenon of extrajudicial killings, the NESoHR said it was intriguing that the extrajudicial killings take place while the Sri Lankan police and judicial system are operating in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled territories in North-East and elsewhere in Southern Sri Lanka.
Some excerpts from the NESoHR report follow:
"Statistics in one way to understand the enormity of this problem. Based on the list published in August 2008 by NESoHR on civilian casualties, there are 1585 cases of such extrajudicial killings since 2002. There is a further 1147 cases of disappearances and it is fair to suggest that at least half of these cases too would have been executed extra judicially. That makes the number of extrajudicial killings to more than 2200.
"Based on this same list, the number of deaths caused by other means due to the conflict is about 1100. This suggests that since 2002, two thirds of conflict related civilian deaths are due to extrajudicial killings and only one third is due to other type of incidents such as bombings and claymore attacks.
"This is an important point that is often missed because these extrajudicial killings, carried out one at a time, do not catch the attention of the Sri Lanka watchers."
"Nothing more than the phrase 'unidentified gunmen' is used to describe the identities of the culprits. Yet, the areas where such extrajudicial executions have become common are brimming with stories about the people behind these shooting. No one dares to speak out. It is tragic that even the judges are forced to play along in thsi game of 'court hearing' that ends with the obvious conclusion of 'murder' and nothing more."