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Last updated: 08 April, 2011 - Published 11:48 GMT
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HRW highlights Tamil 'disappeared'
An LLRC session (file photo)
The panel has not published war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka military
An international human rights group has called on the Sri Lankan government to account for all the prisoners it detained at the end of its long-running civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels.

The conflict ended almost two years ago.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says more than twenty people, including some Tamil Tiger fighters, have "disappeared", after reports that they had been captured by government forces.

Unresolved enforced disappearances should be part of the mandate of a proposed UN investigation into laws-of-war violations by both government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), it said.

“The Sri Lankan government needs to respond to all allegations of disappearances with more than a ritual blanket denial,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Yogaratnam Yogi's wife testifying before the LLRC (file photo)
Many wives of former LTTE leaders have sought LLRC help to find their husbands

It says that some of the disappeared Tamil Tiger members have surrendered to the army together with the Rev. Francis Joseph, a Catholic priest, south of the Vadduvaakal bridge on May 18.

The wife of one of the disappeared has told HRW that she saw the army load the priest and the LTTE members onto a bus and drive them away.

“I have searched in all the camps. I went to the Defense Ministry. I filed a complaint with the police in January 2010. But I have received no information about my husband,” the wife is quoted in the statement.

Yogiratnam Yogi is one of the men taken away on the bus but the commissioner general for rehabilitation has said that he was not among the LTTE cadres in custody.

Two former LTTE members have helped government soldiers identify Colonel Ramesh, an LTTE leader, among the fleeing population and took him and three others away to a small hut nearby, according to the report.

Ramesh being interrogated allegedly by Sri Lanka military (photo: HRW)
HRW has published footage of Ramesh being interrogated allegedly by the military

Ramesh’s family has not received any news about him since he was detained.

The rights watchdog has obtained several additional, longer videos of Ramesh, “providing further evidence that he was in army custody.”

Family members of a number of regional LTTE leaders testified before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), when it held session in the north and the east.

The wives of LTTE’s Trincomalee district leader Elilan and LTTE spokesman Rasiah Illantherian were among the witnesses who sough help to find their husbands.

“While the commission has published testimony of government officials and others on its website, it has not published many of the testimonies alleging enforced disappearances by government forces,” says the HRW.

The Sri Lankan government denies the allegations. It says it's declared the names of all the people it arrested.

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