Nevertheless, Sri Lanka's international profile is on the rise. peacekeeping missions and was recently asked to sit on a U. leadership committee trying to combat sexual abuse. is unable to confirm this until we mount an investigation, clearly the reports are horrifying and merit a much closer inspection from our part, especially if they occurred in 20," said Zeid, the U. The International Truth and Justice Project has gathered testimony from more than 60 Sri Lankans across Europe — 52 of whom were part of the AP's investigation.In May, the European Union restored the special trade status that Sri Lanka lost in 2010 after the country had failed to implement key international conventions. An AP investigation earlier this year found that 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers participated in a child sex ring in Haiti that persisted for three years — and no one was ever prosecuted. N.'s top diplomats who has pushed for accountability in Sri Lanka, was aghast at the AP's accounts of the 52 tortured men. The group has been lobbying governments and international organizations to get justice for victims.The Tigers, as they were known, were designated as a terrorist organization after a wave of suicide bombings.The government's forces were accused of targeting civilians, which is considered a war crime under international law.In an interview last week in Colombo, Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt. "There's no reason for us to do that now." The Sri Lankan government minister in charge of the police agreed to an interview with the AP last month but did not follow through.
One by one, the men agreed to tell their stories to The Associated Press and to have the extensive scars on their legs, chests and backs photographed.He is accused of overseeing military units that attacked hospitals and killed, disappeared and tortured thousands of people at the end of the war.Upon the ambassador's return to Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena vowed that neither Jayasuriya nor any other "war hero" would face prosecution — a pledge that rights groups said illustrates the government's refusal to investigate its own soldiers accused of war crimes."I want the world to know what is happening in Sri Lanka," a 22-year-old known as Witness #205 told the AP during an interview in July."The war against Tamils hasn't stopped." ___ A 'WHITE VAN' ABDUCTION Unlike most of the victims, Witness #249 admits to having been a member of the Tigers nearly a decade ago, joining up when their ranks had been depleted in the final stages of the war.He walks with a limp, caused when a piece of shrapnel left in his leg from a battle in which nine of his friends were blown up.After the war, he returned to the family farm, helping his father.At the end of August, human rights groups in South America filed lawsuits against Gen.Jagath Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka's ambassador to Brazil and other South American nations.Nearly all of the men were branded with tiger stripes. Most of the men said they were sexually abused or raped, sometimes with sticks wrapped in barbed wire.Though rape carries a significant social stigma, the victims said they felt obligated to tell their stories.