For some victims, UN report on Sri Lanka crimes is their only memorial
I learned exactly how a friend of mine was executed from the forensic examination the UN report did of the photographs of his corpse. His hands were tied behind his back and he was shot multiple times from behind. At least I now know he wasn’t tortured before he died, and in the warped world of Sri Lanka, that’s some comfort. I cannot imagine what it is like for his wife to relive this again.
Nor can I imagine what it is like for the mother of a TV presenter for the opposition to see in black and white that her daughter was killed by gunshots to the head, execution-style, with skull pieces and protruding brain left visible. How does a mother cope with the conclusion in the report that her daughter’s body was desecrated, let alone know that the perpetrators are still a long way off from paying a price for their terrible crimes?
And these stories are repeated hundreds of times over because the UN could focus only on the emblematic cases though they are numerous.
The 250-page UN report, released last week by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is filled with legal language and clinical descriptions of extreme brutality. But the 'Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL)' is also a graveyard of dead politicians, journalists, priests and combatants whom many of us knew personally. For some victims, this is the only memorial they have had in six long years.