Three men ‘executed’ in Sri Lanka

Oct 6, 2007 (AFP) – Three men were shot dead in execution-style killings in Sri Lanka, police said Saturday, amid heightened international attention on the island’s deteriorating human rights record. Two blindfolded men whose hands had been tied behind their backs were found shot through the head in the northwestern Chilaw area while another body was found dumped in a lake near Colombo, police officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility and the identity of the victims was not known.

Earlier this year, several minority ethnic Tamils were found dead in and around the capital and elsewhere. A government probe found 430 people had been killed during a five-month period up to February 2007.

Sri Lanka narrowly avoided censure during a United Nations Human Rights Council meeting last month in Geneva, but international rights groups have demanded tough action to protect civilians in the embattled nation.

Rights groups have said abuses have increased in tandem with an escalation of fighting between troops and the Tamil Tiger rebels in the island’s embattled northeast.

In July, London-based rights group Amnesty International said hundreds of people disappeared in Sri