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No." ___ "WE ARE SHOCKED" In a jungle clearing about a two-hour drive from Colombo, a loudspeaker played the sounds of whooshing helicopter blades as dozens of peacekeeping recruits fanned out for a practice run, loading cargo into a small white sedan standing in for the chopper. He said, "I think in general we don't have a bad record of our peacekeepers." ___ Daigle reported from Sri Lanka and Dodds from London, Geneva and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Lederer and Bradley Klapper at the United Nations, Verena Dobnik in New York and Krista Larson in Congo contributed to this report. Contact the authors securely at ___ Follow Katy Daigle at and Paisley Dodds at .
Instructors at the training camp, a two-hour drive from Colombo, said they have taken steps to address the risk of sexual abuse and exploitation since the child sex ring scandal in Haiti.
The AP found that the man, an officer, went on to become a U. The Sri Lankan army and the government declined to comment on the report. N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the U. had few offers when it went looking for peacekeepers to protect convoys in Mali, one of the most dangerous U. Countries with better trained troops and human rights records have been reluctant to offer personnel for peacekeeping since 1993, when 18 American troops were killed in Somalia. "As a peacekeeper, you are there to keep the peace," Blake said in an interview last month.
Sri Lanka has routinely denied that its forces have been involved in widespread torture or abuse. The deaths were considered to be a key reason why the U. struggled to find help ahead of the Rwanda genocide in 1994. "If they themselves are guilty of atrocities, clearly they are not suitable candidates for peacekeeping operations." ___ WHAT CHILD SEX RING?
SRI LANKA: Tier 2 The Government of Sri Lanka does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
The government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore, Sri Lanka was upgraded to Tier 2.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The general sat on a plastic lawn chair in the garden of his mother's home, the scent of tropical blooms filling the air as he talked about the alleged rape and sodomy of a Haitian teenager by a Sri Lankan peacekeeper. He may not have been the best choice for that job — Dias had been accused of atrocities in his own country's vicious civil war.
Dias was not involved in the Haiti child sex ring investigation in 2007, when U. and Sri Lankan officials interviewed nine child victims who identified photos of at least 134 soldiers as their abusers. Instead, he suggested that "an outside party" linked to the Tamil rebels was likely conspiring to damage Sri Lanka's reputation. Security Council that "countries that refuse to hold their soldiers accountable must recognize that this either stops or their troops will go home and their financial compensation will end." Part of the problem is that the U. lacks legal jurisdiction over its peacekeeping force, which now has more than 110,000 personnel, and instead relies on member states to prosecute crimes by their own troops. is undertaking expanded screening for individual Sri Lankan recruits, a process previously seen only on a much smaller scale for recruits from Burundi and Congo.
Dias didn't talk to the accuser, he told The Associated Press, nor did he interview medical staff who examined her.
But he did clear his soldier, who remained in the Sri Lankan military.
"I don't think that was a good decision," Dias said. The enhanced vetting now looks at whether Sri Lankans recruits were attached to any battalions or contingents linked with alleged war crimes. "I would not want to comment on those who have been rejected, but yes — we have a strong policy of screening," Khare said. "My understanding was it was the misbehavior of a few individuals." Tamil lawyer K. Ratnavale, who recently argued for a rare conviction of three soldiers for gang rape, said prosecuting members of Sri Lanka's popular military is often impossible due to victim intimidation, a lack witnesses and poor evidence collection. recently lauded Sri Lanka for its "best practices" after the country agreed last year, under pressure from the U. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, to a onetime payment of ,243 for a girl fathered by a Sri Lankan commander stationed in Haiti.
After months of stalling, Sri Lanka finally acknowledged in a statement to the AP that its military had acted against just 18 soldiers implicated in the sex ring, and said that the U. "Does it mean that we succeed in the screening 100 percent of the time? "We are shocked that the United Nations is encouraging these undisciplined and ruthless soldiers and deploying them in their peacekeeping force," Ratnavale said. Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi, who signed the payment order last summer, told the AP he knew little about the paternity payment, or whether there had been any other such claims on Sri Lankan peacekeepers.