The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has received 5,614 complaints in the first three quarters of last year and 1,174 of them have been incidents of unlawful arrest by Police and torture, the HRCSL said.
The Chairperson of the Commission, Dr. Deepika Udagama said at a media briefing at the Commission on Thursday that HRCSL has received 770 complaints on neglect of administrative responsibilities. Out of those, 436 complaints were against the police and 334 were against other government institutions for not noting the complaints made. In addition, state officials have lodged 1002 complaints of administrative injustices they encountered within their own institutions.
The Commission has stated that 396 complaints have been withdrawn during the past year and recommendations were made for 83 complaints, while 145 complaints have been stopped due to ongoing judiciary action.
The Chairperson said the Commission will focus more on the incidents of illegal arrests and torture and pointed out that citizens’ contribution is also needed to eliminate torture.
Dr. Udagama said in the past year many instances of harassment of students by teachers and principals were reported to the Commission. She also said that an investigation is being carried out regarding an incident of expelling a student on a rumor of having a love affair.
Responding to media queries on allegations of delays in making recommendations on complaints, the Chairperson said the delays result sue to the shortage of human resources.
However, the official emphasized that Sri Lanka’s human rights record has seen a remarkabkle improvement in recent times. She said that there is a noticeable progress in human rights in recent times, and there is maximum freedom for expressing ideas, meetings and associations.
HRCSL chairperson stressed that the public should not misuse the freedom and exploit the situation.
She further stated that the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has received more than 9,000 complaints in 2016, but there are 5,614 complaints received up to September 2017, out of which 2,015 cases have been completed.