SL War Probe Lost In ‘Translation’

Sri Lanka´s domestic probe into the disappearance of thousands of civilians during and after the island’s ethnic war is being undermined by serious translation errors, a group of activists said on Thursday.

 Testimony before the presidential Commission of Inquiry was marred by glaring mistakes in translating questions from English-speaking investigators to ethnic Tamil witnesses, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) said.

 Sittings this week have been affected by errors that could undermine the quality of testimony before the commission, the CPA said, adding that witnesses were photographed by men said to be military intelligence officers. When one witness was asked in English whether he knew where shells were fired from during fighting, the question was translated into Tamil as: “Can you tell us the camps you were at?” the CPA said.

The CPA, a private advocacy group, said that it had monitored public sittings of the commission from September 27 to 30 and wanted the authorities to address their concerns.” (The News)

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