The British Government has expressed grave concerns over the culture of impunity prevailing in Sri Lanka forrape and sexual violence and has once again called upon the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to sign up to the UN Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.
These calls are made just days after a group of Naval officers attached to the Karainagar Navy camp accused of raping a 11 year-old for 11 days were released on personal bail earlier this week.The South Asia Department of Foreign and Commonwealth Office in UK in a letter to theTransnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) yesterday has expressed concerns over the reports of a culture of impunity for rape and sexual violence and a lack of support for victims in Sri Lanka both during and after the conflict.
While stating that the British government remains concerned over the recent NGO reporting that have particularly highlighted instances of sexual violence in the post conflict era, the statement further asserts that significant action has already been taken by the British government on the issue to which includes:
- Hosting an event to highlight concerns of sexual violence in Sri Lanka by Foreign Secretary William Hague during his visit for CHOGM in 2013 where calls were made upon Sri Lankan authorities to hold an independent and credible investigation on the allegations of sexual violence committed by Sri Lankan forces during and after the military conflict
- Sponsoring the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka in March this year that has expressed serious concerns at the continuing reports of sexual and gender based violence
- Supporting projects to ensure a zero-tolerance to rape and sexual violence in Sri Lanka including establishing a helpline for victims of domestic abuse, training local media in investigative techniques that will help them shine a light on this issue and inviting Sri Lankan and international experts on gender issues and sexual violence in Sri Lanka for the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence held in London in June this year