Torture Report

erious violations of Human Rights have increased in the recent past in Sri Lanka. Torture, custodial deaths, disappearances have become common nowadays. Cases for this sudden increase of violations are many in number and more brutal in manner. The Emergency Regulation promulgated on 3rd May 2000 is not the only cause for this sad situation. Culprits of these heinous crimes are encouraged to indulge in atrocious activities, which are considered as serious crimes punishable under the normal Law. Police force including its intelligence units are notorious for corruption and mal practices. If they are allowed and encouraged to violate the fundamental rights of the citizen under the pretext of National Security, they might continue to use their free hand and abuse their power by torturing the underprivileged, deprived, illiterate, and poor people, as they do in the present.


Torture when arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act

Although much is spoken in the international community on physical and mental torture still torture has become a common practice among intelligence agencies and other policemen and officers who are supposed to conduct investigations. The most common trend of investigation seems to be torture and make people to admit the offence in the mind of the investigating officer.


Tortures of 2000

  1. A lad of about 30 years was arrested on or about the 14th of February, 2000 by the Wattala Police at about 8.30 p.m. on suspicion of having connection with the subversives. As he was taken to the Police he was first assaulted all over his body by their hands and legs without any inquiry. Later the Policemen removed all the clothes he wore and burnt his hands and legs with cigarette butts. (A few of those scars were still visible). Later the policemen tied a rope on to his fingers, behind his body and put him to sleep, face downwards and beat his soles with a pole of about 2 inches in diameter and 2 feet in length. Later he was hung up with the same rope and beaten all over the body with the above mentioned pole and with their hands and legs. When he became half unconscious he was brought down, a sack was put on to his head covering his face they assaulted him badly all over the body, at which point he fell down unconsciously, and at this time a policeman kicked the left side of his face with a shoe. (This was the last shot that he could remember at that instance, he says they may have beaten him further that day)
  2. The next day the policemen brought him back to the torture room and removed his clothes again and had shown him a sharp iron rod and threatened him that they will insert it into his body. As they had threatened they pushed him on to the floor and made him to sleep on the ground and inserted that sharp rod into the bottom of his left & right thighs. When they inserted it into his right thighs and it had almost gone more than about 2 inches they had shaken it back and forth saying 1st gear, 2nd gear and 3rd gear. As a result of this torture he had passed a lot of blood and as a result was admitted at the General Hospital of Ragama for a few days. When he was admitted in the hospital these policemen including one Samaratilleke (Sub Inspector) came to the hospital pressed his ear with the back of his gun and forced him to sign some hand written and typed statements. About 20 signatures were taken from him and he is presently languishing in remand without any indictment filed against him. One sub inspector in the name of Samarathilake was also present at the time of this torture, and was instructing this torture.

  3. This is about a young man (39) from Batticaloa living with his wife and child at Wattala reportedly he was arrested at 7.30 p.m. on 14.02.2000 on his way back to bring a dinner parcel to the family and taken direct to the Wattala police station. There he was asked who are the 2 L.T.T.E men who came to his house, which he denied. Then he was forcibly taken up stairs and shown a person who was bleeding heaveyly on both the legs and asked to identify. He identified him as one of his friends whom he knew at Batticaloa and whom he thought to be a Sinhalese. He had denied that the other gave a pistol to him. He has denied that he has any involvement in such things and mentioned that because of such harassment by the L.T.T.E and Razeek group he has sold his house and come to live at Wattala.
  4. They made him naked and assaulted with batons, iron pipe and corroded sheets. They were telling that one is telling that other is having the pistol and vice versa and assaulting both mercilessly. The torture continued for 5 hours and when the O.I.C came in he was put in the lockup. Next day he was taken to a dusty room and was asked the same questions while tying a petrol filled plastic bag covering his face and put him down on the ground and trampling him. They locked him up for 14 days. Consequent to this torture left toe nail was broken and right hand palm below the small finger was broken and stitched by the police and this non professional work could be seen from the scar. In the lock up also he was assaulted. Eyesight has become very poor, breathing difficulty because of the beating and trampling on the chest. On 29.02.2000 he was taken to the Wattala Magistrate and remanded to Mahara Prison. At the prison he was tortured physiologically by the prisoners asking him to sleep by the side of the toilet and things like that. He also told that Peliyagoda police even though it is out of bounds, has gone on civil dress to his house and created pandemonium and damaged some household items, obtained his wife’s signature on a blank paper and taken away his certificates and diaries.

  5. On 03/05/2000 at about 10.00 am the Special Task Force of Thirukovil arrested a 40 year old father and hit his buttocks severely with a sex organ of a bull (Contusions still visible on his back) also assaulted him all over his body with a pole.
  6. After causing him grave hurt he was handed over to the Ampara CSU, where the policemen removed his shirt and banian and tied his hands with the banian, pushed him down and then beat him with a pole to the sole. He was also beaten badly until he lost his sight whereas he is now given spectacles to see.

    Due to the torture inflicted on him he could not even squat down to go to the toilet and was finding it hard to walk.


  7. The Counter Subversive Unit of Vavuniya arrested a husband and wife on or about the 9th of January, 2000. In the presence of the wife, the husband’s hands and legs were tied and beaten badly. Later they tied his eyes and assaulted him thoroughly with cricket stumps continuously. This man’s left leg thumb nail was also plucked by a pair of pliers. His hands and legs were tied and was hung and beaten severely. Later however the torture had reduced to a greater degree.


The intelligence units in Sri Lanka do fail even to consider the ages of suspects, gender or their health condition but quite arbitrarily torture victims of all ages. This is an instance where a lady was alleged to have been molested in the Police custody.


  1. A lady aged 33 a wife of an employee in Korea was arrested by the Negombo C.I.D. on or about the 27th of June 2000 after inquiring for her National Identity Card. This lady a mother of a 4-year-old son and living with her in laws in Colombo for more than ten years after coming from Varani, Jaffna.
  2. She was then taken to the Negombo C.I.D office and on or about the 28th of June, 2000, they had assaulted with the rear of the chair, and was threatened that they would put chili powder into her vagina. They had also threatened that they would take her to the place she was living and tell her in laws that she was involved in subversive activities. This torture had continued for a couple of days, and on the 30th June, 2000, in the evening when there weren’t any female police women constables, some male police officers had come under the influence of liquor to her cell and forced her to remove all her clothes, she had gone unconscious after that and when she woke up she had been admitted in the Negombo hospital. One Wickramasinghe and Bandara were some members who came that night. Medicines were given for two days. She is presently detained in the Colombo Remand Prison.

    A relative who visited us, to tell about her grievances told us that she had been molested inside the police station. When we asked the detainee whether any such incident had occurred she started crying but did not testify about any such incident, however she said she was forced to remove all her clothes, but was reluctant to mention about the molestation. She admitted that she felt unconscious and at the time she gained her senses she had been hospitalized. She also testified that the police had put chili powder into another woman detainee’s vagina in her presence. The other woman detainee is detained in the Terrorist Investigation Department, Colombo now.


  3. This is about a girl who was arrested and tortured by some policemen at a police station whom she cannot identify. She told us her story with bitter tears rolling down her cheeks and her mother too was horrified about this torture on her innocent daughter.
  4. A bit fair complexed, timid looking girl of about 4’ 10" aged 19 year had got into a bus to go for her tuition classed at 6.00 a.m. on 4th of April, 2000 on bus route No 155. On her way the bus she traveled was stopped for checking somewhere close to the Viharamahadevi Park, at about 6.20 a.m. About 5 or 6 policemen were there at this check point and one of them asked her something in Sinhala, as she did not know the language she had told them in Tamil that she does not know Sinhala. At that moment a green colour fully covered jeep with a mesh outside it came and she was arrested with another girl elder than her and four other males, all she says presumably below the ages of 25. The other girl alleged to have been arrested was wearing a skirt and blouse, she looked as if she was going to work. No jeep had been there at the time they stopped for checking. These six were questioned separately at the checkpoint. Then they were put into the back of the jeep and arrived at the said place in about half an hour they reached a place, which was a open place outside and they were all taken into a building that looked like a police station. There were several rooms inside and a bench in front. First a policeman had taken a male out of the persons arrested into a room and later this girl was taken into another room. A woman constable and a male were inside and they inquired something from the girl in Sinhala and as the girl did not know Sinhala, she told them in Tamil that she did not understand Sinhala. Then the woman constable had taken her books and thrown them away on to the ground. Then the woman constable had taken a knife from her pocket and started cutting the girls hands. There were 3 scars of cut injury on the left hand, 3 in the right, one in neck and one on the left leg, all these marks were about half an inch to one inch in length. The woman constable had also taken a lighted cigarette and burnt this girl. There were four scars on the left hand and one on the right hand. This torture had occurred for about one hour. When both the policeman and the policewoman had left this girl had taken her books and come out of the police silently and then ran to a three wheel and asked him to drop her at a place, where she could board a bus that travels on the 155 route. This Muslim three-wheel driver luckily knew his Tamil, had driven for about 25 minutes and dropped her somewhere at Bambalapitiya. She then boarded into a bus travelling on that route and came home at about 10.15 a.m. she says she does not know the others who were arrested or the people who had arrested her. Parents complained to the Mutwal police and they moved swiftly by taking the girl to D.I.G Colombo range. Later she had lodged an entry at the Modara Police and the police had taken her around and she presumes that the place she was tortured was a police rest room/quarters/guard post/like the Bowala Police Station, Maharagama. She was taken to a higher officer and he questioned and released her. However, police depended on the girl to identify the police station, which she was unable to do and they handed over the matter to the Bambalapitiya police for further investigations.


  5. A mother of two aged 31, was arrested by police officers attached to Security Co-ordinating Unit (S.C.U) Vavuniya on 30th of May 2000, at her residence in Vavuniya and is being held there, since then. According to the information available, her mother 65 years, was allowed to visit her once, but she was not allowed to speak to her. The mother testified that she saw injuries on her left hand and could not lift her arm. We are informed that the police had taken her to a Wedhamahatmaya (Local Physician) and had her broken hand, bandaged.
  6. Tortured Deportees

    We also wish to point out that deportees who were taken into custody by the CID have been tortured. Torture occurs regularly in Colombo and is especially directed against Tamils on the basis that they are LTTE suspects. We have been informed by deportees that upon arrest at the airport they were taken for interrogation and tortured by the police officers.


  7. A deportee from Switzerland was arrested by Wellawatte police from his lodge on May 2000 allegedly on a petition sent by one Ramesh. They questioned him as to whether he has collected money for L.T.T.E, which he emphatically denied and told the police that he can produce a letter from the Embassy to that effect. He was regularly assaulted and harassed by the police and now charged on a frivolous case of possessing a suspicious N.I.C after seeing his genuine card by case No: AR/1067/00 at the Mount Lavinia Magistrate Courts. Whereas he is yearning to get back to Switzerland as he knows thoroughly 2 of their languages and was quite at home there.
  8. A Deportee from Germany arrived at the Colombo Airport on the early morning of 18.03.2000. Embassy officials met and assured that he will not be harmed but released and went away for lunch but did not return. All deportees were questioned by the CID and he was asked whether he collected money for L.T.T.E and was assaulted demanding to accept their allegations. He had to sign a statement in Sinhala language in which he is illiterate. He was produced before the Negombo Magistrate and was released on personal bail. He had lost touch with relations and friends as they have shifted to different places due to the conditions prevailing in this country and also he had gone through several countries to reach Germany. As he did not have any benefactors to subsidize his living he could work in this country, he got desperate and drank insecticide and was admitted to the Colombo Government General Hospital. While recovering in hospital a nurse seems to have called a policeman going that way and handed him over. The policemen assaulted and look him to the police station and there also he was assaulted while taking a statement in Sinhalese. He was taken to the Maligakande Magistrate, charged for suspicion and remanded for 14 days. While on remand at Welikade prison, some of the prisoners who are called ‘ Kambra party’ reportedly has asked him to stand in the sun for full 5 days and beaten him on some pretext or other in the presence of the jailors. On 05-05-2000 he was produced to the some magistrate and was released. After four days the Bambalapitiya police arrested him again at his lodge and a statement was taken in Sinhalese.
  9. A youth first went to Italy through as agent and later went to Netherland by car on 17.06.1994 and was admitted to a refugee camp called (O.C.) HARLAM. After one and a half months he was called for an interview. While the Helmon Court and while the Trial was pending, he was deported. He had not got a chance of earning anything extra as he was not allowed to work outside. On 22.11.1999 (morning) 2 young men came to his room and took him by car to the airport to deport him. He says he appealed and pleaded with them but of no avail. These two men accompanied him in the plane and handed over him to some officers in white uniform at the Katunayake Airport and went away. In the Airport building he was taken to a room and was demanded money. When they found that he had only a few coins, they assaulted him badly. Then he was handed over to the C.I.D, where he was again assaulted by many, asking for money. They alleged that he could have helped the L.T.T.E. They took his watch, jacket and some shirts. During this time, his fingerprint, and a statement was taken in Tamil as well as in Sinhalese. His passport was also taken away.

After that he was produced before the Negombo Magistrate, and was bailed out by a lady. After 3 days some men supposed to be C.I.D came to the lodge in civil and had taken him to an unknown place in a vehicle which traveled for about 30 to 35 km to an old building. Here he was assaulted very badly. He still complains of a severe pain. They were questioning about the possible connections with the L.T.T.E and suggesting that as if he has connections because he is from Valveddithurai. After 4 days of arrest, torture and detention, they dropped him back at the lodge.

Consequent to a bomb blast, in Colombo, he was arrested by the Pettah police and questioned for about a week, insisting that he knows of L.T.T.E and assaulted him and a statement was taken. On the advice of some policeman there, he gave a statement that he came from an Arab country, hoping that he can escape from this unbearable torture. However he was kept in police custody for 7 days along with criminals and drug addicts and released. Now very frequently police come to the lodge and asking him to go away from Colombo since his home town is also from Valveddithurai which is also the birth place of Mr. Velupillai Prabakaran the leader of the L.T.T.E. The police allege that he has connections with L.T.T.E. In the meantime at a checkpoint the security personnel who checked him tore off the release order of the Negombo Court.

11. A deportee from Norway was arrested under suspicion on the 16th of April, 2000, by the CID, of Katunayake Police, when he was deported and interrogated as to his connection with any subversives living in Norway and released on bail. He was residing temporarily in Negombo, when he was arrested on the 9th of August, 2000, by the Negombo Police. From the 9th to the 13th he was detained at the Negombo Police and tortured badly. They handcuffed him and put a plastic bag on to his face and tried to cause him suffocation. They also threatened to put petrol into the bag. They also hit him with a pole of about 2 inches in length and breath and about 2 feet long and inquired whether he has got any connection with the subversives. They had forced him to accept a statement and place his signature, or else had threatened, to shoot him and tell that while he tried to escape from police custody he was shot. He is presently on bail but the police are harassing him and threatening him to show any person whom he suspects of as a Subversive.




  1. A Muslim businessman, a father of three, who is married to Tamil was harassed, arrested and tortured owing to a land dispute. The individual has threatened that a certain Senior Superintendent of Police, is a relation of his and with their help can take forcible possession of the property, and has the power to burn the house down as they are Tamils. His father in law lodged an entry to this effect at the Welikada Police Station, on the 11th of March, 2000 under entry No. 15/161- CIB I. The said Senior Superintendent of police spoke to him over the phone and threatened him to hand over vacant possession of this premises, or else he threatened to arrest him, assault him, and detain him under the Prevention of Terrorism Act because he is married to a Tamil lady. The said SSP spoke to him in obscene language and abused him verbally on the 10/03/2000, 11/03/2000, 12/03/2000, 25/03/2000, 26/03/2000, 28/03/2000 and the 29/03/2000 on his telephone. His father in law informed the Personal Assistant to the Inspector General of Police about all these incidents by fax to Fax No. 446174. The influential individual and the SSP are pressurizing him and his father in law, to transfer the above property accepting the sum that they have already paid although he knows that there is a bank loan still to be settled. Then the said individual and his relative SSP threatened that they will remand him saying that he had given some money to the subversives. On the 26th of April 2000, at about 3.15 p.m. the gate bell rang and when he had gone to the door and the influential individual told him that he has come to pay the balance sum of money which he owes his father-in-law and Mother–in-law. He had invited the influential individual while they walked inside the house three other men dressed in civics entered their residence and began to assault him mercilessly after hand cuffing him. He asked them the reason of this action, but still the three officers kept on assaulting him without informing him the reason for the assault or arrest. They requested for their National Identity cards and after checking, they turned to assault his wife, children and father in law & mother in law who were also inside the house at the time of the incident. His sister-in-law who had visited them from Germany was having a bath in the bathroom and they tapped at the bathroom and dragged her out completely nude and then asked her to come out tying a towel later. A policeman dragged her with her hair when she came with her towel outside. The influential individual was silently watching this with a smile, winked and showed a policeman his three daughters who were scared and were crying, and the said officer grabbed his children and threw them onto the sofa. This client was handcuffed and made to sit on the floor and they pulled and tightened his tie around the neck and dragged him all over the house for his family to see and his family started to shout and pleaded with them to let him go. His wife wanted to verify whether these men were really from the CID and she tried to call the police and she was hit on the head with the telephone and was not allowed to touch it. They harassed her using obscene language. At this moment they told him to remove his shoes and pulled him on to the road and dragged him up and down. At this juncture Mr. D.B. Lakshman Liyanage, Member of the Municipal Council of Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia intervened and asked the policemen the reason for the assault on him, for which the influential individual told him that they have got a special order from Her Excellency the President to arrest him. The police officer in charge told loudly that instructions were given to them by Her Excellency the President to take him on a special detention order as he has fraudulently taken Rs. 3.9 million from one Mr. S. Gurusinghe who was silently smiling and witnessing the entire incident and for complaining against two senior police officers Mr. Pujitha Jayasundara (SSP) and Mr. Sherifdeen (ASP- Fraud Bureau). Mr. D. B. Laksman Liyanage, told that he would inquire from Her Excellency the President but the policeman showed no care for that. They pulled him by the handcuff and their neighbors asked the policemen the reason for this assault and they sarcastically told them that he has fraudulently taken Rs. 3.9 million and transferred it to the LTTE, and they have special orders to arrest and take him. Their neighbors gathered at their entrance and the influential individual got into his vehicle and sped off. At this moment his mother-in-law ran to ask for more help from the area and the policemen chased her and caught her about 10 houses away and assaulted her on the road and she fell down as a result of this. The policemen came back into their house and said that the old woman ran away to the police and asked others to leave the place soon. One of the policemen pushed him into a town ace van No: 59-6089 to the back seat and hit him inside the van without showing any sympathy in front of all the people. They took him down several roads and finally to the 4th floor of the C.I.D unit. The influential individual too was following them in his vehicle. At the 4th Floor of the Criminal Investigation Department the some police officers of the same branch assaulted him mercilessly with their hands and legs all over his body. The policemen forced him to phone his home several times from the Criminal Investigation Department and order his wife to bring the keys of the house for which the influential individual had paid an advance. They forced him to ask them to come along with their father-in-law and mother–in-law to sign the transfer papers. Another set of officers came and beat him saying that his wife had requested a senior police officer to look into this matter. The officer in Charge threatened that they would arrest his wife, as she is a Tamil saying that she is supporter of a subversive group. His wife had gone to the Kohuwala police and they had helped her to find out that, he was at the 4th floor of the Criminal Investigation Department. His wife had feared his life and solicited the aid of the lawyers, the anti harassment committee and several other officials before coming to the CID. All night the policemen called him again and again and forced him to tell his wife to come with his–in-laws and not to bring any lawyers and used obscene language all along. He was produced before the Honourable Magistrate on the 27th of April, 2000 under B’Report No. B 9844/4, alleging that he had been suspected of committing an offence under Section 403 & 386 of the Penal Code.


    This is a case of certain Sinhalese under the common law.

    On or about the 22nd of May, 2000 Mr. Ranmal Kodithuwaku (ASP) – son of the present Inspector General of Police, and some other officers went to a village in Panadura and arrested two brothers and a friend of the person they allegelly suspect of the murder. These persons were brutally tortured by Ranmal Kodithuwaku and his fellow officers for about a week in Panadurai Police station. So their father, mother and a friend working in Colombo lodged an entry at the Human Rights Commission, in Colombo and the President’s Committee against illegal arrests and Harassment. The Human Rights Commission and the President’s Committee against illegal arrests and Harassment had inquired from the concerned police station and later the torture was reduced to a certain degree. Later they arrested another two of the suspected persons friends. In about a week the father of the suspect was also arrested may be for the reason of complaining to the Human Rights Commission and the President’s Committee against illegal arrests and Harassment. The police did not torture him, but were interrogating him about his son and the reason for going to the above mentioned Committees. However one of the friends were tortured to degree that he lost his eye sight. These Policemen are said to be from the Kalutara Police Division.



    We have come across instances where the police and other security organs do indulge in illegal methods to fabricate a case and harass innocent people. When someone is arrested his homefolk have to be provided with a receipt of arrest, although this procedure is laid down and applied in certain instances in the Northern Province, in all the other parts of the Country this procedure is not applied or recognized. Due to this major adamant attitude of the security personal arrests, torture, detention, killings and disappearances are on the increase. There had been over fifteen disappearances in the recent past only in Vavuniya. However the following killing is about a person arrested in Wattala.

  3. On 05/05/2000 four dead bodies with gun shot injuries were found near the cemetery at Kadawatha. Out of these, three bodies identified, one is from Hendala, Wattala and of the other two, one is a Tamil youth from Kochchikade area and the other a Muslim youth from Hunupitiya area. One of the identified by his relations is Thankaiya Sivapooranam (42).

On 03/05/2000 he was abducted from his house by some unknown armed men who came in a white van, out of which one had shown an identity card of a Policeman, and it is believed that they have shot him dead. These armed men who came to the house in a white van has told that they have come for an inquiry and taken him.

As the reasons are not known as to why these murders were done and this white van abduction, has created a sense of fear and sacredness among the people of this area.

It is understood that he has worked for a long time in Qatar as a driver and has come before three months and he was waiting to get back to Qatar in a week's time.

He is from Matale and was living at Wattala for a long time. His wife is from Pungudutivu and have four children.



Tortures of 1999

  1. A youth arrested in Colombo

He was arrested when he was going for his lunch on the 4th of August, 1999. He was stopped and arrested at about 1.00 p.m. by someone who came in a silver colour car near the Colombo Fraud Bureau office, but he was not informed the reason for his arrest. They took him to the Fraud Bureau Office and detained at their premises. The next day he was taken to Shanthi Lodge and later to the room. They broke open the lock and took all his belongings which included his Original O/Level, A/ Level and other certificates, his all country passport, driving license, National Identity Card, Jaffna Identity Card and Rs. 24,000/= in cash.

Later he was taken to the Colombo Detective Bureau and handcuffed at about 12.45 p.m. and there the officers started hitting him with a pole of about 3 feet in length and 2 inches in diameter, all over his body. They hit him even without telling him the reason for this type of treatment. Later they took him to the Officer in Charge’s chamber and started hitting him. At about 9 p.m. the Officers particularly one person by the name of David, forced him to draw some maps of places on boards. One Sulaiman & Chitrakumar obtained his signature on some type written and blank papers. On the 6th of August, 1999, the officers took him to a room inside and pushed him on to the ground and assaulted him with some flexible, yellow colour object of about 3 feet in length and 2 inches in diameter. He said it looked like a dried penis of a bull, which is supposed to cause internal injury to the body. On several other dates too the officers assaulted him, kicked his penis with boots, and pounded his fingers, hands, toes and legs with a pounder. He was taken for medication twice by the same officers to the General Hospital of Colombo on dates that he cannot remember and his ticket numbers are 289786 and 323387. He is still suffering severely from the pain inflicted on him on to the spinal cord. Earlier an officer of the of the CDB took him to a doctor and asked him not to tell the doctor that he was tortured and if he mentions that he will be kept for another 3 months. The officer kept him outside first and went inside the doctor’s room and spoke to him something and came back and later he was taken in. The doctor asked him whether he was tortured and he answered in the negative as he was scared that the officers would keep him and hit him again. He is now remanded in prison.

  1. An old student of Myletti Roman Catholic, College, Jaffna and the American Mission School, Uddipiddy, and who was later residing at Kandy to continue with his studies. He was arrested on the 16th of October, 1999, at Kandy at about 5.30 p.m. without telling any reason nor informing him who they were and brought to The Terrorist Investigation Department, Colombo. Two of his friends too, were arrested earlier. They had beaten him for about 19 consecutive days and inquired about his other two friends. He had seen them lastly in 1994, and they came to Kandy and visited the Peradaniya Botanical gardens. One of the said friends’ sister is a teacher in Kandy, and the other friend’s brother is in the Seminary in Ampitiya.
  2. They have tortured him during these 19 days by hanging him up and beating and handcuffing him behind and beating with a pole. They have also threatened him that if his mother or any one take steps to file a Fundamental Rights case that they will take his signature by force on an incriminating statement. On or about the 30th of March, 2000, an attorney at law, visited him and as soon as she left, an officer working under the Director of the Terrorist Investigation Department started to assault him all over his body in front of the Director. All of a sudden the Director Mr. Gamini Dissanayake, too, kicked him, slapped him and hit him with a pole all over his body. He had beaten him severally and made him to sign some typewritten and hand written papers. He is presently in remand.

  3. Wattala police arrested a boy of about 16 years on or about the 24th day of January 1999, and transferred to the Kalutara Remand on the 12th day of April 1999. His parents are presently residing in Switzerland. He registered his names at the Wattala Police Station, along with his relations in Wattala. On or about the 24th of day of January, 1999 at about 3.30 p.m. he was arrested on suspicion by the said police officers without any justification. The next day his grandmother went to the police station and told them the fact that, her grandson came to Colombo to make his passport and go to Switzerland. The Officer in Charge promised her that he will discharge her grandson soon. When the grandmother visited the police station the following day, she had seen her grandson almost unconscious. She said with tears rolling down her cheek "I am sure he had been tortured very badly. For about a month or two her grandson was tortured badly, but the police did never tell her the reason for his arrest and detention. Neither did they produce him to a JMO".



  5. A youngster from Karaveddy was unfortunately arrested when he was returning from his tuition class. This lad was planning to do his I.A.B Final Examination and was studying for same at North Ceylon Tec in the war stricken Northern peninsula of Sri Lanka.
  6. This incident occurred on 05/09/1998 at Point Pedro army checkpoint, while the bus in which he traveled was stopped and passengers were checked. At 11.45 he was taken to a nearby camp and beaten all over his body, and he fell unconscious. When he regained his senses he could feel a bruised and burning feeling in his back, he says there were a lot of abrasions and they may have been caused as he was dragged on the gravel floor of the camp. After getting his senses too, he was beaten badly by hanging him upside down. They had transferred him to another camp where the officers had brutally been hitting his two knees with a big hammer.

    He was handed over to the Kankesanturai police on the 15th of September, 1998 and was produced before the Anuradhapura Magistrate’s Court on 2nd of November 1998. This lad was enlarged on bail in the said case on 12th of February, 1999 and was released on the 25th of June, 1999.

    This lad continued to stay in Colombo as he was scared to go back to Jaffna, and he had an idea of going abroad, and for this sake had written several letters to foreign embassies.

    On the 5th of July, 1999 at about 9.30 p.m. some policemen from Mt. Lavinia police arrested him, and insulted him in obscene language, too. They also had slapped his face several times. He had explained about his release and still he was beaten. There the PLOTE Mohan who is working with the police, had also the indecency of squeezing his testicles and scrotum, with their bare hands. He was again released from custody after a prolonged detention inside the police station of Mt. Lavinia on the 6th of March 2000. He says he had also heard screams in the nights, of others being tortured.

    After he was released he went to register his name at the Keselwatte police the Officer-in Charge of the police station has threatened him that he should leave Colombo as soon as possible or else they will arrest him again.

    The father of the above boy wanted us not to file a Fundamental Rights Application, so we continually inquired from the police about his prolonged detention, which also tantamount to torture by the Mt. Lavinia Police continuously and they expedited the matter and he was released consequent to our request on the 6th of March, 2000.

  7. A youngster was arrested by the Mt. Lavinia Police on the 23rd of March, 1999, at about 11 pm in a Lodge in Kotahena. Officers who arrested him were Upali, Plote Mohan, Gunabalu and two others. On the 25th of March, 1999 Jayaratnam, Plote Mohan and Gunabalu hit him with plastic wires all over the body, while he started crying and running round the room. Later they handcuffed him behind and Jayaratnam squeezed his penis and testicles hard, and hit him all over his body with poles and wire. At this instance his left ear had started bleeding, so they adjourned for the day. The next day they pushed him down and trampled his chest with the police boot hard, and he complains that it is still hurting. His hands had also been burnt by cigarettes and there were five of those scars in his right arm. These policemen had also beaten him with a rubber used to fix the windscreen to the van. There were scars of wounds visible on the back and mid of his back. These were generally about two to six inches in linear, and looked like contusions. Gunabalu had taken Rs. 10,000/= from him promising to release him. They had forced him to sign some type written papers too.

  9. One forty eight year old farmer and his 15 year old son were arrested by the Mannampitiya Police (Eastern Region) while they were going to visit a relation of theirs in the Central Region of Sri Lanka. They were arrested on the 7th of May, 1999, and were both tortured badly and later handed over to the Polannaruwa Police who also tortured them and were sent to Badulla Remand in a semi conscious state for a day. They were later taken by the Terrorist Investigation Department, and the father was tortured by handcuffing him behind, by hanging him with his hands tied behind, and his 4 teeth of the upper jaw were broken when they assaulted him with a broom stick. The father received treatment from the Colombo General Hospital in Ward No. 40 for more than 1 month and he was also given about 2 pints of blood for his survival. One Anwerdeen is supposed to have been broken his teeth.

When we went to see him in the Kalutara Prison he cried and told us that the police men beat his son in such a brutal manner that he couldn’t even bear it that he signed any thing they asked him to sign. He further told us with his tears rolling down his cheeks that he had never ever punished his 15-year-old son in this manner and was sad that he was ever born in this world to be beaten in this manner.



There are several instances where the police officers and the other armed officers use the cover of the security situation to sought out their personal grievances, some persons are arrested on mere frivolous complaints, and some persons could be arrested by an influential persons bribe. All these persons are generally subjected to torture. This is an incident which describes this act clearly.

  1. One boy from Kalmunai was arrested on the 13th of October, 1999, at about 3.45 p.m. while he was returning from work at Kalmunai. He was arrested on information from one PLOTE Mohan and one Sangari. There had been a personal problem between Sangari and this person in 1996, with regard to a sum of money he had to give this person’s father, and this Sangari attached to a Tamil militant group had tried to take revenge a several times.
  2. After arresting this lad, he was brought to the Mount Lavinia Police Station. The so called PLOTE Mohan and one Jeyaratnam (Inspector of Police) had started hitting the boy all over his body with cricket stumps and a cricket bat and inquired from him about a pistol. He has told them that he had never ever got or even possessed a pistol in his life. The very same officers have told the boy that they know that he is not involved in subversive activities, and asked him to tell the names of people who are helping the LTTE in Kalmunai. When questioned he replied in the negative. The so called PLOTE Mohan had kicked him hard on his testicles. Then he had fallen unconscious and when he woke up they had abused him in obscene language. They had also hung him up with a rope tied his hands behind and beaten him badly all over the body with poles.

    The policemen had also forced this boy to give an incriminating statement, or else had threatened to shoot him inside the cell. When we got to know this, our Secretary spoke to the relevant Police Officer and the torture was reduced to a certain degree.

    It is tragic to note that the torture inflicted on suspects in the war zone and the other parts of the Country are same.

  3. A man from the Central Region of Sri Lanka was arrested by the Ragala Police and later handed over to the Nuwara Eliya CSU on 17th July, 1999 and was meted out with torture in a very inhuman and degrading manner. The methods of torture are described below.
  4. Had kept a book over the head and hit the book with a pole causing him pain and a sense of unconsciousness had immediately followed. A tooth from the left side had been broken when they kicked him with a boot. (One Mr. Fonseka, Sub Inspector had kicked him in this manner) Had also pounded his fingers with big pole then later burnt hands and penis with cigarettes. His testicles also had been squeezed, while he was made nude and inflicted this torture. He had also been beaten badly with a plastic wire all over his body and specially his legs while his hands were tied behind. Scars are still visible. They had pulled his hair and removed them too. He also remembers the name of one Tillekaratne, a torturer.

  5. A middle aged man of Talawakelle was arrested at a studio at Kalmunai on or about the 24th of March, 1999, by the Ampara Counter Subversive Unit.
  6. He was hand cuffed assaulted badly with a pole mostly to his two legs. They had also given something like a bomb to his hand and threatened to sign a type written document or else threatened that it will explode. Stapler pins were inserted into his hands and they had also pricked his hands and legs with pins.

    Had pulled hair and hit with pole. People who tortured him were officers namely Sanoor, Piyal and Sisira.

  7. A man aged 25 was arrested by the STF Ampara on the 27th of March, 1999 under suspicion just after he had come from work. Initially he had been beaten all over his body and then petrol had been put into a plastic bag and held against his nose and mouth as to suffocate his breathing. For about 22 days had been assaulted severely with poles, hands and legs and handed over to the Ampara C.S.U., where he was tortured for about 8 days severely. Had tied hands behind and hit with pole. Had tied his toes and hung him up upside down and beat him badly. When he was brought down was again hit with a pole until he fell unconscious. He is still in Remand Prison.
  8. A boy who came from Jaffna to Colombo in 1990 with the hope of going abroad was arrested on suspicion at 10.30 p.m. on 5-05-99 by some army personnel and policemen who came in 3 vans. At the time of arrest, at his work place he was hand cuffed behind and was beaten with hands and legs in front of the owner and other employees, demanding to produce the arms and cyanide capsule. Then he was taken to the T.I.D office and assaulted mercilessly by hands, legs and batons by the persons there. Food was given and allowed to sleep with the legs and hands cuffed. He was tortured in this manner for 17 days at this office.

The main ways in which he was tortured are as follows.

The torture ceased as he accepted the TID statement, as it was unbearable. Then in October 99 he was taken to the 6th floor at 1 p.m. to inquire about Dr. Neelan’s assassination, blind folded, handcuffed and taken to a beach by van and immersed the head in water frequently causing suffocation and hit with plastic bottles filled with water on the face. They kept him like this for 3 hours and handed over to the TID by about 4 a.m. after removing the blind fold and hand cuff. This way he was tortured and kept in remand for 11 months. He is now released by the court.

  1. Three youths were arrested and later held in Kankesanthurai detention camp complained about inner injuries in the body because of the cruel attacks by Army and was admitted to the Jaffna General Hospital by the prison officials.
  2. One of these youths from Punnalikadduvan has said that he was arrested on 17-12-99 for inquiry and cruelly tortured for a week. Because of this he is finding very difficult even to sit down.

    The other youth said that the army arrested him on 1-12-99 until he was sent to the Kankesanthurai detention camp on 17-12-99 he was beaten and made to suffer. Because of this he is suffering with internal wounds for the last 2 months.

    The youth from Chulipuram (Center) was called for inquiry to the Navy camp and was beaten below the back with batons until one baton was broken. He is now admitted to Jaffna hospital with a cracked backbone.

  3. This is a testimony of a middle aged Muslim lady who was arrested under the common law and subjected to inhuman torture at their hands.
  4. On the 29th of September, 1999, her husband Mr. Cader put some zinc sheets around the well, as their front door was facing the well, and generally their house folk have a bath there. At about 11.00 p.m. 4 policemen attached to the Nittabuwa police station came to their house, and asked her husband to come to the police station the following day and her husband went the following day and came back as a police constable of the Nittabuwa police informed him that there wasn’t anyone who had wanted to see him. On the 1st of October 1999 a police constable walked into their shop and ordered him to remove the zinc sheets. Later she states that the police officer went to the individual’s home and returned after about three and half hours. Two days later the individual, a neighbour started constructing something on his land but was unlawfully trespassing on their land and at this juncture her husband objected and went to the police station to lodge an entry. But the relevant police officer and other officers attached to the Nittabuwa Police station refused to record his statement. On the 7th of October, 1999 at about 9.30 a.m. a police officer came into their house and ordered her husband to clean the land and give space to his neighbour to mix cement and do anything while constructing on their land. This lady states that she told him that there was a civil case pending in the District Court and the neighbour was not entitled to make any permanent structures on the land, for which the policeman answered in obscene language. Then the policeman aggressively pushed the stool with his leg and kicked the vegetables that were on the floor and went out swearing to teach them a lesson.

    At about 10.30 a.m. the three male policemen and two other woman constables called her and her husband was not in the house and she went and greeted them. And all of a sudden the two male policemen came inside her house and pulled her with her hair and hit her with a pole that was in their house and quite forcibly dragged her into the police jeep and a beggar who had come to beg too, was inside the jeep. They took her to the Nittabuwa police station and after keeping her to sit on a bench till about 3.00 p.m. the two policemen took her to the Officer in Charge’s cubicle and he without inquiring about anything hit her all over her body, speaking and yelling in obscene language. A powerful shot struck her forehead and although she was yelling in pain she was beaten further without any mercy was hit more and more. The officer in charge ordered the other policemen to arrest her husband and torture him too. He also ordered her to close the shop for a week or else he ordered the other policemen to put her husband and her and burn both alive. He spoke very abusively in obscene language and although this lady started crying still they did not stop assaulting her. The next day the A.S.P. Came at about 9.30 a.m., but did not inquire anything but told a policemen to produce her immediately and left. After the A.S.P. left the Officer in charge and another officer scolded them in obscene language for trying to talk to the Assistant Superintendent of Police. At about 1.30 p.m. policeman took her to the doctor, at the Watupitiwalla Hospital told the doctor something in English and ordered this lady not to tell anything to the doctor or else he would catch her husband and give him a worse treatment and remand both of them.



    Torture cases of 1998

    The law provides that when a person is remanded after being produced before a Magistrate he cannot be taken back to the police station without a judicial order. This is an example where a person was removed from remand without a judicial order and tortured badly and brought back and remanded indefinitely.

  5. A 24-year old-trained mechanic from Kalawanchikudi, Batticaloa was arrested by the officers attached to the Terrorist Investigation Department and the Special Task Force of Ampara, at Kalmunai on the 14th of October, 1998. He was working at the Palugamam Pradeshiya Sabha as a mechanic (to dig wells & advising the mechanics) for about 1½ years.
  6. They took him to a camp of the Special Task Force and hand cuffed him behind and beat him with their hands, legs and poles. Later he was taken to the 6th floor of the Terrorist Investigation Department and tortured there severely by officers namely Abdeen, Alwis and Wijeratne for a consecutive of 8 days.

    In about 1½ months they took him down stairs and made him to sign some statement before Mr. Gamini Dissanayake, an Assistant Superintendent of Police. This mechanic was remanded on the 12th of December, 1998, at the Kalutara Remand Prison and was later taken back to the Terrorist Investigation Department quite arbitrarily and tortured there again severely in the following manner.

    They had him handcuffed behind and hit him, then made him to sleep under a chair and hit him. On the 5th of March, 1999 one Razik and Ananda took him and hit him severally, Alwis (OIC), Wijeratne, threatened and made him to sign on some papers.

    On or about the 7th of March, 1999 he had passed blood when urinating. Even after bringing this to the notice of Police, they still continued the torture by tying a saree on to his head and hitting him with poles which made him unconscious for a long time. Later they remanded him at the Kalutara Remand Prison.

    This lad was arrested earlier in March, 1996 by the Battycaloa army and tortured by making him to inhale the petrol applied on a plastic bag and held against his face as if to cause suffocation. They had tied his hands and legs and hung up and beaten, then held electricity on to his penis too. Later he had been released by December, 1996.


  7. A young bachelor of Mallavi was arrested by the Mount Lavinia Police on 09th January, 1998, at his residence in Kotahena. Four men civics and the other 2 in police uniform came and arrested him. They asked for the National Identity Card and police registration report. Instead of the police report he showed a pass issued by the Vavuniya Army. The chief occupant of the house intervened to tell the police that he is here only for the last 2 days and the police registration will be done in due course. They did not take notice of this but arrested him, blind folded and put him in the van without giving reasons for his arrest. In the van they slapped him on the cheeks. Next day he was told he was in Mount Lavinia Police. Interrogation started on 12th of January, 1998, and continued till 15th January, 1998. While inquiring they hung him on the roof beam. Hit him with plastic pipes filed with sand, continuously for 1½ hours hanging him up and putting him down and hitting him causing about 20 wounds on the body. (Some of those scars were still visible they seemed to be linear contusions and abrasions of about 1 inch to 2 inches).
  8. On 20th of June, 1998, the National Intelligence Bureau interrogated him and on the same day he was taken to the A.S.P and was detained in the police custody for 6 months. He was taken to the Kalubovila Government Hospital for treatment. As he was bleeding from the mouth he was kept in the hospital for 9 days and was produced before the Mount Lavinia Magistrate on 01.07.1998. Because of this torture he is unable to sit down and get up and complains of severe back pain, right hand is benumbed and unable to hold the pen to write. All the documents including the National identity card were taken by the police and not given back.


  9. A twenty seven year old painter from Karavetty, Jaffna.
  10. He was arrested on 27.10.1998 at a checkpoint on the road on bus Route no.750. He was asked to go to Malusandhi main army camp. He went there on his bicycle. Till about 4.30 p.m. he was standing out side the camp and was arrested when their chief army officer came at about 4.30 p.m. and was promptly taken in.


    He was asked to remove his shirt and tied his eyes, tied hands behind with the banian and was hit with hands and legs. He could remember the names of three torturers Chaminda, Nishantha and Lt. Col. Janaka Perera. They put him into an army truck and took him to Point Pedro military camp and reached there at about 7.00 p.m. There about 6 or 7 persons started assaulting him with poles, hands and legs. Here they removed the shirt and banian which was tied and removed his trouser too and hit him till about 8.30 p.m. and then gave meals and locked him in the cell. They had made him to sit on a chair and handcuffed him to the cell and asked him to sleep.


    On the 28th of October, 1998 after breakfast at about 9.30 he was taken to the ‘erechi kadai’ (beef shop), a place exclusive used to torture people. They first hit him with hands and legs, later asked in Tamil whether he is going to tell the truth or get killed. After that they asked him to remove his trouser shirt and banian and put him to sleep on the table. They covered his face with petrol bag thrice, to make him to suffocate. Later they made him to remove his pants, stretched his hands and legs wide. They put a plastic (PVC) tube into his anus, and put a barbed wire through it and started pushing it up and down until it started bleeding. He almost cried and told that it hurt him very, very badly. When it started bleeding he fell unconscious and they threw water on to his face. When he gained his consciousness a bit, they made him to stand and hit him all over the body. An army personnel hit him hard with a big pole on to hits head and he yelled ‘aiyo amma’ and he covered his hand with his hands. Again he hit him on the head when he was covering his head with his hand and as a result his left hand born broke off the wrist. As soon as it broke the army personnel burnt his hands with cigarettes in about 40 spots in his left arm alone.

    On the 2/11/1998 he was sent him to Kankesanthurai Police Station. There they made him to sign on some papers. On 14.12.1998 was remanded and bailed out on 99/03/23.


  11. About 6 youths arrested in Nuwara Eliya
  12. They were arrested one after another in the Central Region of Ragala, Nuwara Eliya, on or about the 08th of November, 1998 on the information of a business rivalry.

    One of them who is a properitor of a jewellery shop in Ragala. He said that at the time he was arrested he was taken to the Mahakudugala forest in Ragala and assaulted badly by one Fonseka (Sub Inspector of Police), and later taken to the Nuwara Eliya Assistant Superintendent’s Office and tortured badly. He was made to squat down, and a pole was inserted between his arms and legs and the pole was placed between two tables and when one was kicking his back as if to go round and round another started beating him severely. When they assaulted him they asked whether he was involved in any communal violence. They had tied his hands and legs and hung him up and made him to inhale petrol for about 2 days causing suffocation. Similarly his hands and legs were tied and his head was pushed into a tank of water. This person’s fingers were tied and he was hung up and beaten with a pole, too. He sadly said that even on the 1st of January, 1999, he was beaten severely by the police officers of the Nuwara Eliya Police. This torture room is said to be in the Assistant Superintendent’s office in Nuwara Eliya. The persons who tortured are said to be Fonseka(SI), Karunasena, Najim, Jayasinghe and Jayaratne. This was done by the CSU, of Nuwara Eliya.

  13. Medical report of a 18 year old Male is given below

Above named was produced before me by S. Hettiarachchi of Kalutara Prison on 22.06.99 around 10.45 a.m.


History :

He was arrested by C.S.U. Vavuniya on 07.11.98 at 10.00 a.m. at Vavuniya. He was taken to Vavuniya Police. He was assaulted with clubs, wire at the C.S.U. Office. A plastic bag containing petrol was introduced to his head and face. He was burnt with cigarette butts.

He was assaulted for consecutive two days. And thereafter he was produced to a magistrate.

General Examination :

He was conscious and rational.

Dressed well

Examination of Injuries

Left Upper Limb :

  1. A scar measuring 6cm. x 1cm on the outer aspect of the upper third of the left upper arm.
  2. A scar measuring 6cm. x 2cm on the middle of the left upper arm.
  3. A scar measuring 3cm. x ½ cm. on the dorsum of the left hand.

Right Upper Arm :

  1. A scar measuring 12cm. x 1cm. on the outer and front aspect of the middle third of the right upper arm.
  2. A scar measuring 6cm. x 1cm. on the front of the upper third of the right forearm.
  3. A scar measuring 1cm. x 1cm. on the front of the lower third of the right forearm.

Left Lower Limb:

  1. A scar measuring 6cm. x 1cm. on the middle third of the front of the lift thigh.
  2. Right Lower Limb:

  3. A scar measuring 1cm. x 1cm. on the front of the right thigh, just above the knee.
  4. A scar measuring 1cm. x 1cm. on the back of the right thigh, just above the popliteal fossa.


  1. All the injuries are more than six months old.
  2. Injury No. (4) is consistent with that caused by a flexible blunt object such as a wire as stated by the victim.
  3. Injuries Nos. (6), (8), (9) are consistent with that caused by cigarette butt burns.
  4. All the other injuries are consistent with blunt trauma.


Dr. P. B. Dassanayake.

Asst. J.M.O. Colombo.



33. Medical Report of another detainee


Mr. xxxx52 years (Government Servant)

This gentleman is said to have been arrested and assaulted in July 1998 whilst in custody. He now has persistent pain and stiffens of his left knee and right shoulder as a result of it.

There is evidence of frozen shoulder on the right, with gross mussel braking with elevation of 120º, abduction 90º and ER of 20º only – which is about 50% of the normal range. This too is accompanied by severe pain, which is worse at night.

The left knee is swollen due to an effusion, with patellar tenderness, as a result of the trauma.

He is greatly hampered by the pain and disability and will need prolonged physiotherapy and medication to improve his condition.

Dr. S. Sritharan

MBBS, Mch (Orth), FRCS (Eng)

FRCS Ed, (Orth)



Torture Cases of 1997 & 1996


34. A youth from Anaikoddai

He was arrested on 10-01-97 at Muthiraisanthai checkpoint while he was returning from a visit to his mother and taken to the park camp, Jaffna. The details of the torture he underwent are as follows:


  1. A Youth (22) of Kalvayal, Chavakachcheri.

    He was arrested on 13th August 97 by the Chavakachcheri army and was taken blind folded to the Palaly camp and handed over there as a suspected subversive. He was repeatedly asked to identify other subversive personnel and bring out arms from the hideouts and tortured. He was beaten almost daily by hands, legs, wire, iron rods, pipes and riffle butts etc. Nose, eye browse and many teeth were broken. Fingertips, knuckles were cut. Toenails were pulled out and burnt with cigarette butts. Right leg was broken and there is a permanent swelling. Face cowered and tied with petrol filled plastic bags. Electric current passed on the male organ tongue and hands causing severe shocks and even lately blood came through the penis with pain. Consequent to this torture he is suffering from poor eyesight, loss of memory and he is physically sick. On 02-05-2000, he was released by the High Court Colombo.

  3. A youth from Vaddukoddai

He was arrested on 18-04-96 at his residence at Aluthmawatha Road, Mutuwal as a suspected LTTE member and taken to an unknown destination after being blind folded. The details of the tortures are as follows:

Discharged after a long court trial. His eyes are affected by the torture. He was released on 11-2-2000 after being indicted by the Attorney General in Case no: 8586/97.

These are some of the cases the staff of Forum of Human Dignity interviewed. Our legal staff are involved in filing Fundamental Rights Applications and disseminating information to the concerned national and international organizations.

Sri Lanka has signed almost all the conventions, but has not setup a proper mechanism to implement them. Although the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has been incorporated into our legal system, still we are to yet to hear about any one being punished under this Act.

Domestic Violence, Anti Social crimes, like rape and incest have increased due to the war situation in the Country. The police force and other uniformed members of Sri Lanka are quite often taking the Law and Order into their own hands and thus indulging in violence against specially against the innocent, unprivileged, poor and illiterate brothers and sisters of ours.