UN uses Sri Lankan war criminals as peacekeepers – ITJP Report

Sathya Rajan

International Truth and Justice Project has recently released a report stating members of the Special Task Force paramilitary unit of the Sri Lankan police should not be sent as UN peacekeepers without proper screening and vetting processes.

56 names of persons in the STF are collected and listed as individuals who should not be sent as UN Peacekeepers from inside witnesses in four different countries. These are persons involved in frontline command positions and violated human rights in STF. In 2017, Sri Lankan media reported that 140 to 200 STF would be deployed as peacekeepers. STF officer, SSP Waruna Jayasundera, in charge of intelligence in the East in 2006-2007 was sent to South Sudan as a peacekeeper.  Similarly, there are so many alleged war criminals who have been deployed in various other countries as peacekeepers. This process of sending officers as peacekeepers is very important for the Sri Lankan Government in order to rehabilitate the reputation of its armed forces who are accused of violating international humanitarian law.

The witnesses described and reported about the secret torture camps, how Tamil women were sexually exploited, staged encounters, abductions in white vans, illegal detentions and killings and detention sites in Colombo.

These witnesses’ names are not made public in order to maintain the confidentiality and it would be revealed to United Nations Department of Peacekeeping (DPKO), the Department of Field Support (DFS), the Conduct and Discipline Unit (CDU) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

At the end of the report, there are various recommendations made to the UN, to the government of Sri Lanka, to the International Community, to the office of missing persons in Sri Lanka. All these recommendations directly and indirectly talk about the vetting and screening processes and how they should be tightened up.

Rather, it should be recommended, these officials who are deployed in different countries should be arrested and investigated in the countries they are present.  UN should also release the names and evidences that they have. The very fact that these perpetrators are brought to justice under current government shows how the protection of war criminals continues. This report and previous UN report themselves shown how UN itself collude with Sri Lankan government in protecting the war criminals.

Here is the link to full report – http://www.itjpsl.com/assets/STF-report-online.pdf#english