‬IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon, cc, Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka

Letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Concerning IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon

February 27, 2024 Sri Lanka Campaign Comments Off


This letter was originally sent to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on 25 January 2024, concerning the position of then-Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Deshabandu Tennakoon.

Since that time, Tennakoon has been formally appointed to the role of IGP, despite a recent Supreme Court case finding against him. Please see our letter to the Special Rapporteur below.


Dear Special Rapporteur,

I am writing on behalf of the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, expressing my serious concern about the position of Sri Lanka’s Acting Inspector General of Police Deshabandu Tennakoon.[1]

On 14 December 2023, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka found the Acting IGP personally responsible for torture. In a scathing judgement, they stated that Tennakoon had overseen an investigation which led to the torture of several persons; one victim even claimed Tennakoon had been personally involved in his torture. Tennakoon has been ordered to pay compensation to the Petitioner from his own personal funds. The Acting IGP has been accused of various other human rights abuses during his time in the police force, the details of which are listed in this article.

The Supreme Court judgement has exposed just one piece of a pattern of torture and abuse which is rife in Sri Lankan law enforcement. On 22 December, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka noted that it had received over 200 complaints of torture in 2023 alone.

It is therefore highly disappointing and disturbing that Tennakoon has continued in his post without suffering any professional consequences following the Supreme Court verdict.

As Special Rapporteur on Torture, we would urge you to consider issuing an official communication to the Sri Lankan government, asking that Tennakoon be removed from his post and that allegations of torture against law enforcement in Sri Lanka be properly investigated.

Thank you for your time, and we hope to hear from you soon.


Ben Kumar Morris, Campaign Director, Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice


[1] Named alternatively as M.W.D. Tennakone and Deshabandu Tennakoon in the Supreme Court Judgement