Red Cross slams Sri Lanka on disappearances

March 19th, 2008 - 5:03 pm ICT by admin  

Colombo, March 19 (IANS) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Wednesday slammed the Sri Lankan foreign ministry for “misrepresenting” its report on forced disappearances and making public some information it had shared with it confidentially. The foreign ministry had in a recent statement said that as per an ICRC report, there had been “a distinct downward trend in disappearances and unexplained killings during the second and third quarters of 2007″.

The ministerial statement had gone on to say that the US embassy had access to the confidential ICRC report on this matter.

“The ICRC deplores the publication and sharing of confidential reports submitted exclusively to the Sri Lankan authorities, and the foreign ministry’s misrepresentation of its overall findings and its dialogue with the government,” the organisation said in a statement.

Correcting the government’s perception of the disappearances, the ICRC’s head of operations for South Asia, Jacques de Maio, said: “Extra-judicial killings and disappearances are part of a terrible pattern of abuse in Sri Lanka which must be stopped.”

He added: “The ICRC strives to bring this about through its confidential and direct dialogue with the authorities concerned. For this reason, we prefer not to enter into a public debate on the number of disappearances in Sri Lanka.”

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