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'HR situation in Lanka deteriorating'

Warning that the human rights situation in Eastern Sri Lanka is deteriorating, an international rights watch dog has asked the government in the island to take immediate steps to address the issue.

world Updated: Nov 26, 2008 12:31 IST

Warning that the human rights situation in Eastern Sri Lanka is deteriorating, an international rights watch dog has asked the government in the island to take immediate steps to address the issue.

"Many abuses in the Eastern Province appear to have been carried out by armed elements of the Tamil Makkal Vidulthalai Pulikal (founded by Karuna Amman)," the monitoring body of Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

"Human Rights Watch investigations have found that there have been at least 30 extra-judicial killings in the Eastern Province since September," it said in a report.

The TMVP was originally the political wing of the armed faction earlier known as the Karuna group and it enjoys the strong backing of the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse, the report said.

Karuna broke away from the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2004.

"The Sri Lankan government says that the 'liberated' East is an example of democracy in action and a model for areas recaptured from the LTTE," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

"But killings and abductions are rife, and there is total impunity for horrific abuses."

It cited a recent case where the bodies of two young Tamil men who had been detained by the police on October 3, 2008, during a security roundup in Batticaloa were found on a beach six days later with their hands and legs tied to a concrete pole, and showing signs of severe torture.

Stating that there were many incidents of violence, the report said on November 2, unidentified gunmen shot and killed five Tamil youth at Kalmunai beach in Ampara district.