Introduction

 

T

he war between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is going on for the last 18th year. The International community is interested to bring the two fighting factions to the negotiating table with the mediation of Eric Solheim of Norway.

 

At last yearís election the war-weary citizens of the country brought back Chandrika Kumaratunga to power placing their trust in her as the only leader who would bring peace to the country. With peace perhaps prosperity will trail along Ė hopefully!†† Many refugee centers known as welfare centers have been opened to accommodate the internally displaced people, but many more are still in uncleared areas and the govt., as a prerequisite to peace talk has lifted the embargo on some supplies, and it is a welcome move.†††

 

Mass scale conscription is reported in areas govern by LTTE. Parents in those area fear to send their children to schools due to this reason.Hundreds of people have come to army controlled area from uncleared areas in Batticalo District leaving everything they have earned to protect their children from forced recruitment and took refuge in welfare centers.

 

Due to this abnormal and absurd war in which brother kills brother, the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire have paid with their lives. Many have lost their lively hood. Many have been reduced to penury.

 

Situation Report

January to June 2001

 

T

he Forum is actively engaged in helping victims of war by seeking the help of the Presidentís Committee on unlawful arrests and harassment. Arbitrary arrests have become less but there are still cases of disappearance. The Presidents committee also considers our complaints and replies.

 

Our Attorneys-at-Law had taken up the cases on behalf of the victims free of charge. During the proceeding they have been in contact with the Presidentís Committee and the Attorney Generals Dept. In the cases of the deportees held in Negombo, our Attorneys visited them to look into their grievances.

 

 

Human Rights Situation

 

We are much relieved to find that there are some signs of improvement in the Human Rights Situation as the government obliged to respects the Human Rights of the citizens and exposing the violators in the lawsuit. However there were incidents of gang rape by security personnel and other forms of harassment in the recent past.

 

There are still violations of human rights, reported in the media. These take place in the Eastern Province, Vavuniya and Mannar district in the Northern Province and North Central Province. We understand that quite a number of persons are indiscriminately killed in the provinces where Tamils constitute a majority. There are still cases of arbitrary arrests and detention. Torture is still found and fundamental Rights applications are filed against the perpetrators. The Supreme Court has repeatedly called halt to torture but the call goes unheeded. Disappearances and custodial deaths too have been reported and recorded during the 1st month of the current year itself.

 

There were some dispute between Sinhalese and Muslims in some areas. Itís reported that some politicians are behind this unfortunate incident. However government declare curfew in those areas and took immediate steps to halt progress of this, If not it could have led another communal riot in Sri Lanka.

 

Hundred of innocent Sinhalese were reportedly killed by L.T.T.E while they were engaged in farming in their paddy fields in remote villages in Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee Districts. Although the international community has repeatedly condemned this brutal killing of civilians, L.T.T.E still seems to carry on attacks on unarmed civilians in villages like Welioya. Aralaganwila and Mahindapura etc.

 

When the Kith and Kin of the arrested inform us, we wrote to the Presidentís Committee on unlawful arrests and harassment and requested them to release them. The Presidents committee has done its utmost to help victims of such arbitrary arrests and have tried to trace the victims as could be seen from their replies to our appeal mentioned earlier.

 

There arrests have caused set backs to the victims. Some are mentally affected, and some have lost their job. The arrests have caused much embarrassment and humility to the person concerned. Needless to say the family too suffers the humiliation and becomes embittered in life. These arrests must be arrested but how? There lies the question.

 

The Situation Report for the current year covering the following: -

 

1.      Arrests and Detention

 

2.      Torture

 

3.      Rape

 

4.      Disappearances

 

5.      Custodial deaths and Indiscriminate killings

 

6.      Pass System

 

Arrest and Detention

 

I

t is reported in the media that in places like Vavuniya, in white van, ambulances and vehicles with number plates removed; people especially Tamil youth are taken blind folded and with the hands tied behind. The Vavuniya District Judge has found out that the police team is lead by I.P. Mahinda Pathirana was behind these incidents. The judge instructed the Vavuniya police and asked them to stop using the ambulance and performing inhuman deeds like blind folding the arrested and tying their hands as these are against the Geneva Convention, and has instructed Inspector Pathirana to show cause why he used the ambulance and why he blind folded the arrested, as these are against the law.

 

Kumarasamy Kugathasan, of Kalvayal North Chavakachcheri and Vairamuthu Krishnakanthan of Meesalai North Kodikamam, who were displaced and residing at Vaddukoddai, went to the Kodikamam civil administration office to get permission from the army to look up their homes. They were arrested and are still not released as at 12th March 2001.

 

These people complained to Human Rights Commission that they were arrested for no reason except on suspicion and assaulted by the police and the Army. Those affected are:

 

1.      Kalidas Selvam of Sundayabar Veedi, Pillayaradi Savalakadai.

 

2.      Kanapathipillai Sathikumar, Valaichenai, Batticaloa.

 

3.      Armugam Packeen (address not known)

 

4.      Chitravel Manivannan, Mannar Road, Poovcuataulala, Vavuniya.

 

5.      Anthonipillai Vinod, Vimalaraj, Pudukudyyrippu West, Pudukudyyrippu, Vavuniya.

 

6.      Vaithilingam Thiruchelvan, Satthipuram, Rudrapuram.

 

7.      Kumara Selvaratnam, No.01, Unit one, Arichchemkulam Yogapuram, Mallan.

 

They were asked to state their cases at the CID Dept Colombo.

 

The young girls and boys of the estate sector who have no identity cards are arrested indiscriminately and the leader of the workers congress T. V. Sennar complained so to the President. When such cases are brought to our notice, we immediately write to the Presidents Committee to at least find out the cause of arrest and detention.

 

 

Arrests take place in the following methods carried out by the Security Forces

 

At road checks and checkpoints located at strategic points on the high ways trunk roads and by roads. In such instances, pedestrians, passengers of public vehicles are all stopped at checkpoints and searched. This may happen at any time at all roads of the Sri Lanka network of roads. People whom the Security personnel believe as suspects are arrested.

 

When the Kith and Kin of the arrested inform us, we contact the Presidents Committee, and request them to look into the matter.

 

A middle-aged man Rajendran Moorthy 45years was arrested on 25th of February 2001, at Pamankade by the Kohuwela police. He has been detained indefinitely. The sister of the victim complained to us.

 

 

At Home

 

People are sometimes arrested while in their own homes also as in the case of Kadar Pakeer Mohamed Naufar. He was arrested on 5th January 2001 by TID. His wife has complained to us of this arrest. The Forum filed a Fundamental Right Application with Supreme Courts in this case.

Another such a case is that of Nagarasa Nagendran of Point Pedro arrested from his home as 5th January 2001 by TID. The reasons for these arrests were not given.

 

On February 2nd 2001 one Soosaipillai Anton 42 years was arrested at Vavuniya, near his home by the TID, on suspicion. On information received from the relatives of the arrested, the Forum undertook to provide necessary legal assistance to him. Selliah Sasikumar of Jaffna was arrested by the Demetagoda police CID unit at his home at Negombo. The Forum took up the matter with the police and he was released, as there was no evidence to incriminate him.

 

 

Cordon and search operation

 

Arrests are made during cordon and search operation too. This is done without warning. Any selected area is cordoned off, and searched for probable suspects. All entries and exits are totally sealed. The people of the area from children to elders are summoned by public address system and regardless of weather condition sun or rain, they are made to line up and walk pass a masked person for identification. The masked man on identifying a suspect nods to indicate the suspect, and this person is arrested and taken for interrogation. The fate of those arrested cannot be predicted.

 

On 20th May 2001 a 21 years old girl Yogaratnam Sasikala was arrested during cordon and search operation at Aluthmawatha, by the Kotahena police, she is from Vavuniya. A cousin of hers lodged a complaint with us. We wrote to the Presidentís Committee on arbitrary arrests and detention to look into the matter.

 

When the Security personnel carry out surprise check on Tamil residents; they go armed to the houses and arrest young Tamil men and women on suspicion. They bang the door in the wee hours of the day and search the houses. They do a thorough job of it searching even personal belongings of the inmates, who are at the mercy of the security men. Even if the inmates posses their N.I.C. they are inquired and they will arrest any one be it young or old, boy and girl, man or woman and take them for questioning if they feel mere suspicion.

 

The reasons for the arrests are not told but it is carefully and meticulously worked out to justify such arrest.

 

The provisions under the PTA are convenient tool in the hands of the security personnel. Armed in addition with the new E.R announced by the President in May 2000, makes it all the more easier for them to arrest all and sundry.

 

We reproduce below some of the letters received from the Presidentís Committee.

 

Date: 09.01.2001

EA&NI/AHC/671

Mrs. Manori Wijewardena

Forum for Human Dignity

44A, 2/1, Dickmanís Road,

Colombo 05.

 

Dear Madam,

Complaint Against Unlawful Arrests and Harassment Ė Complaint No: 671

 

I am directed by the Committee to acknowledge receipt of your letter of complaint regarding the arrest of Velauthampillai Tharmalingam at the Kovilkulam detention Camp, Vavuniya.

 

A report is being called from the authorities concerned.

 

Yours truly,

 

M T M A Deen

for Secretary

Presidentís Committee on
Unlawful arrests & Harassment†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
 

 

Date: 09.01.2001

EA&NI/AHC/670

Mrs. Manori Wijewardena

Forum for Human Dignity

44A, 2/1, Dickmanís Road,

Colombo 05.

 

Dear Madam,

Complaint Against Unlawful Arrests and Harassment Ė Complaint No: 670

 

I am directed by the Committee to acknowledge receipt of your letter of complaint regarding the arrest of Tharmalingam Sriranganathan from his home at Veppankulam and detention.

 

A report is being called from the authorities concerned.

 

Yours truly,

 

M T M A Deen

for Secretary

Presidentís Committee on

Unlawful arrests & Harassment†††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

Date: 09.01.2001

EA&NI/AHC/669

Mrs. Manori Wijewardena

Forum for Human Dignity

44A, 2/1, Dickmanís Road,

Colombo -05.

 

Dear Madam,

Complaint Against Unlawful Arrests and Harassment Ė Complaint No: 669

 

I am directed by the Committee to acknowledge receipt of your letter of complaint regarding the arrest of Thamotharampillai Tharmakulanathan from the Welfare centre, Vavuniya.

 

A report is being called from the authorities concerned.

 

Yours truly,

 

M T M A Deen

for Secretary

Presidentís Committee on

Unlawful arrests & Harassment†††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

Date: 16.01.2001

EA&NI/AHC/2000

Mrs. Maheswary Velautham

Attorney-at-Law

44A, 2/1, Dickmanís Road,

Colombo 05.

 

Dear Madam,

Complaint No: 610

 

With regard to your complaint about the arrest of Mr.Kunarasa Mohan, I am directed by the Committee to inform you that the suspect has been discharged on 05/12/2000. Please confirm the position.

 

Thanking you.

 

M T M A Deen

Secretary

Presidentís Committee on

Unlawful arrests & Harassment†††††††††††††††††††††††

 

Date: 16.01.2001

EA&NI/AHC/2000

Mrs. Manori Wijewardena

Attorney-at-Law

44A, 2/1, Dickmanís Road,

Colombo 05.

 

Dear Madam,

Complaint No: 642, 643

 

With regard to your complaint about the disappearance of Mr. Rajappu Sathivaraj and Mr. Kidnar Ahilan, I am directed by the Committee to inform you that the Vavuniya police have not arrested such persons. Please provide further information.

 

Thanking you.

 

M T M A Deen

Secretary

Presidentís Committee on

Unlawful arrests & Harassment†††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

01/03/2001

Our Ref: FD/AH/85/01

The Secretary

Presidentís Committee on

Unlawful Arrests & Harassment,

Colombo 03.

 

Dear Sir,

Visiting prisoners at Welikade WomenísPrison

 

We wish to draw your attention to the harassment faced by the visitors of the prisoners under Prevention of Terrorist Acts, at the Welikade Womenís Prison.

 

The visitors are allowed only once in a week to see their loved ones at the womenís prison. That is also in the presence of a C.I.D officer. The officers always refer the prisoners under PTA as L.T.T.E.Almost all of these detainees were detained at the 6th floor of the Police Head Quarters for long periods. At that time also visitors were not allowed to see them. Only those carrying the no objection from the police(G.S,/A.G.A) are allowed to see them once a week at T.I.D. At the prison also they are allowed to see once a week and that too for only 10 minutes.

But their male counterparts at C.R.P do not face the same difficulty. This discrimination is only against women detainees.

 

Therefore I shall be thank full if you could investigate into this and remove the difficulties faced by the visitors of women detainees at Welikade womenís prison.

 

Thanking you

 

Yours faithfully,

 

M.K.P. Chandralal

for Secretary.

 

Copy to: Hon. Douglas Devananda M.P. (Jaffna District)

No.121, Park Road, Colombo 5.

 

 

Date: 02.01.2001

EA&NI/AHC/632

Secretary

Forum for Human Dignity

44A, 2/1, Dickmanís Road,

Colombo 05.

 

Dear Madam,

Complaint No: 610

 

I am directed by the Committee to inform you that the suspect, Mr. Sivarasa Gananathan has been produced in Mount Lavinia Magistrate Court as requested by you. Please confirm the position.

 

Thanking you.

 

M T M A Deen

Secretary

Presidentís Committee on

Unlawful arrests & Harassment†††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

Date: 02.01.2001

EA&NI/AHC/626

Mrs. Manori Wijewardena

Attorney-at-Law

44A, 2/1, Dickmanís Road,

Colombo 05.

Dear Madam,

Complaint No: 626

 

With regard to your complaint about the arrest of Mr. Thurairajah Vimalarajah, I am directed to inform you that the suspect has been discharged. Please confirm the position.

Thanking you.

 

M T M A Deen

Secretary

Presidentís Committee on

Unlawful arrests & Harassment†††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

5th January 2001

Our Ref: FD/AH/83/00

The Secretary

Presidentís Committee

on Unlawful Arrests & Harassment,

Colombo 03.

 

Dear Sir,

Arrest and torture victim Mr. Tharmalingam Sriranganathan

 

We have received information of the arrest of the above named from his mother Mrs. T. Perinparanjithamalar presently residing at No. 170, C/o- Pachamuthukadai, Pattaikadu, Veppamkulam, Vavuniya. According to her, on 01/10/2000, at about 9.30 p.m. several persons who identified themselves as Nochimoddai army personnel, went to their house at Pattaikadu, Veppankulam, Vavuniya, put him up and beat him severely. They also attacked the others- the victimís brother, sister-in-law and the aged mother.Later they took him away.He is supposed to be at Thandikulam detention camp.The mother has informed ICRC and Human Rights Commission Vavuniya.

 

We shall be grateful to you to kindly do your utmost to trace him.

 

Thanking you.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Mrs. Manori Wijewardena

for Secretary

 

 

 

Prolonged Detention

 

An umpteen number of no-date cases are in our hands now. As the new E.R introduced in May 2000 allows a suspect to be kept without being produced before a Magistrate even for one year, the Security forces are using this clause quite often. Prolonged detention is very common now. Tamils are indefinitely detained in remand prison and will be kept so until a decision is taken by Attorney General Department. There should be the act (Actursea or mensrea) or intention in the crime. These detainees have neither, and that is their crime, we have on record over 30 such no- date cases with a dozen arrested in 1999, and the rest in 2000. All languishing in prisons for no offence apparently.

 

We have filed number of Fundamental Rights Cases against these unlawful arrests and detentions. We highlight below some of such cases.

 

 

Thirukumar Veerasingam

Thirukumar Veerasingam is 28 years old, and unmarried he worked at Seagul Property Developer Institute, Colombo 06, as an Assistant Engineer. He was taken into custody on or about 21st September 2000 from his residence at Kawdana Road, Dehiwala, by the Police Officer attached to Terrorist Investigation Division (T.I.D). He was taken to the T.I.D. at Chaitiya Road, Colombo-01 without giving any reason for the arrest. Thereafter he was detained at the 6th Floor of the Police Headquarters. He states that on 10th January 2001 he was taken back to the T.I.D office and a Police Officer at T.I.D ordered him to write something on a paper which he dictated in Tamil. Thereafter he ordered the petitioner to put his signature at the bottom of that paper. He states that he refused to put his signature and at that time the said Police Officer threatened him saying, if you want to go home you must sign this or else we will keep you here. He was therefore compelled to put his signature on that paper.On 6th February 2001 he was produced before the Chief Magistrate of Colombo under B/3261/01 and remanded at Colombo Remand Prison. He states that he has not been involved in any illegal or subversive activities at any time

 

 

Sinnathamby Veerasingam

Sinnathamby Veerasingamhe is 63 years of age and married and father of five children and was the president of the Karaveddy Citizens Committee at the time of his arrest. He was a Postmaster in the Sri Lanka postal service from 1956 to 1991 and served at various stations in Sri Lanka. In 1994 He went to Jaffna after his retirement from public service and in 1995 he was appointed as president of the Citizens Committee Karaveddy in which capacity, he served till the date of arrest by the Terrorist Investigation Division (T.I.D). He states that on 6th of November 2000 the TID officers requested him to come to Colombo in connection with the arrest of his son Veerasingham Sabesan by the T.I.D Officers.On the same day he arrived in Colombo and went to the T.I.D office with his Attorney-at-law Mrs. Manori Wijewardena. At that time he was taken into custody without giving any reason and taken to the 6th floor of the Police Headquarters. He states that on 3rd of January, 2001 he was brought back to the T.I.D Office and forced to put his signature on some papers by an officer which he refused. But later he was compelled to sign it because of the fear.He states that on 6th of February 2001 he was produced before the Magistrate under B/3261/01 and remanded at the Colombo Remand Prison. He states that he has not been involved in any illegal or subversive activities at any time.

 

 

Sivapathan Suthaharan

 

He is a teacher attached to private tutory in Jaffna. He was married and his wifeís name is ThavamalarSuthaharan. After marriage he came to Colombo with his wife to seek employment abroad. He was taken into custody on or about 03/01/2001, from his residence 198, Dam Street, Colombo-12, by the police officers attached to Terrorist Investigation Division (T.I.D). He was taken to the T.I.D at Chatiya Road, Colombo 01 without giving any reason for the arrest. He was produced before the Hon. Magistrate of Fort Magistrate Court on 27/03/2001 under B2329/01 and he was remanded at the Colombo remand prison. On 12/05/2001 he was transferred to Kalutara remand prison. He states that he has not been involved in any illegal or subversive activities at any time.††

 

 

KadarPakeer Mohammed Naufar

 

He is 32 years old. He states that he was a tailor by profession at the time of arrest. He states that he is married and he has 3 children aged 07,06 years and the last child is only 3 months old. He states that he was taken into custody on or about 05/01/2001, from his residence 765/321 Bodiraja Mawatha colombo-10, by the police officers attached to Terrorist Investigation Division (T.I.D). He states that he was taken to the T.I.D at Chatiya Road, Colombo-01 without giving any reason for the arrest. Thereafter he was detained at the 6th floor of the police headquarters. When he was detained at the TID office, a police officer ordered him to put signature on 6 blank papers. He states when he refused to put his signature at that time the said police officer threatened him and slapped him. He states that he was then compelled to put signature on the 06 blank papers. On 27/03/2001, the he was produced before the Hon Magistrate of the Fort Magistrate Court under B 2329/01 and remanded at the Colombo Remand prison. He states that he has not been involved in any illegal or subversive activities at any time. He states in the above-mentioned circumstance the acts of the Respondents constitute a violation of his Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 13(1), 13(2) of the Constitution.

 

 

Kanapathi Thiruchchelvam

 

He is a Citizen of Sri Lanka and 23 years old and unmarried. He states that he was selling apple in Pettah at the time of arrest. He states that he was summoned to the Bambalapitiya Police station on or about 16/02/2001 and when he went there the Police arrested and detained him without giving any reason. He was produced before the Hon. Magistrate of Mount Lavinia on or about 30/04/2001 in the Case No. 63135/1 and remanded at Kalutara Prison indefinitely. He states that while he was in the custody at Bambalapitiya police station he was beaten by the Police officers. He states that he has not been involved in any illegal or subversive activities at any time.

 

 

Torture

 

P

ractically all the news papers and womenís organisation screamed at the arrest torture and sexual harassment of two married women (one pregnant) in Mannar. Two young married, one with a child of five years, were in a lodge at Uppunkulam, Mannar were arrested on suspicion by the counter subversive unit were taken to their office, stopped and subjected to torture in the form of rape and sexual harassment and were threatened not to reveal what happened, to them, to the doctor. However medical reports said of the internal, physical and mental torture they under went at the hands of the CSU.

 

A 26 year old young man by the name of Ratnam Vigneswaran, has complained to the Human Rights Coordinating officer Mr. Jeeveswarethur that: -

ďI was a member of LTTE and then left the movement. On 8th February 2001, a person put me up while I was sleeping at home. Showing a cyanide capsule and hand grenade said he was a LTTE. He wanted me to take him to Sandilipay. I showed him the documents issued by ICRC about my leaving LTTE. He took all the documents and refused to hand them over unless I took him by my bike to Sandilipay. I had therefore no alternative. We left at 1.45a.m. on the way the Sri Lankan Army personnel stopped us calling out ďHands up Hands upĒ my companion threw the hand grenade at them and they shot back. I fell down and lay still. My companion died later. The army arrested me and took me to their Camp. There I was assaulted severally for 3 days. I wanted blood. The Security Forces warned me not to mention torturing me to anyone nor get treatment and released me. I told them I have nothing to do with LTTE Mr. Jeeveswara of the Jaffna Human Rights Commission visited me at home at ChunnakamĒ.

 

Mr. Nadarajah Thiruchelvam (47 Yrs) a journalist who came to Colombo to attend a family function was arrested at Wellawatta. He told the Human Rights representative that he was shut in a separate room and assaulted with 5-10 pipes from 14 of Jan.2001, he and other arrested persons were kept in the 6th Floor of the Police Head Quarters. He was hand cuffed and taken to a separate room and tortured by assaulting with S-Lon pipes. Though he was kept for 21 days he was not told why he was arrested neither was he produced before a Magistrate.

 

Torture is inflicting intense pain to body or mind for purposes of punishment or to extract a confession or information, or for sadistic pleasure.

 

Act No.22 of 1994. The convention against Torture or degrading treatment or punishment interprets torture as.

 

An act, which causes severe pains, whether physical or mental to any other person being an act, which is

 

1.      Done for any of the following purposes

 

1.      Obtaining from such other persons, or a third person, any information or confession.

 

2.      Punishing such other person for any act which he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed or

 

3.      Intimidating or coercing such other person or a third; or

 

2.      Done for any reason based on discrimination and being in every case, an act which is done by, or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public officer or other person acting in an official capacity.

 

As we could see from all the media reports and from complaints by the victims that torture is being used to a large extent to harass people.

 

This method of harassment is abhorred by NGOís the world over. Even Hon. Judges have spoken against torture.Officers use this method to force a confession from the victim who does so under duress. Even the two women arrested on suspicion that they have links with the LTTE were subjected to torture of the meanest sort to extract information. Confession should be made voluntarily and not under duress. The police officers get the victim to sign on what they have written in Sinhalese knowing well the Tamils arrested may not know their language.

 

Here is first hand information as torture from the victim himself who is one of our clients.††††††††

 

According to him he was arrested by the Ampara CSU on 24th February 1999, and was tortured mercilessly. He says that after t his shirt was removed and he was handcuffed. A stick was kept between two tables and he was kept hanging on the stick, and was assaulted with the handle of a mamoty. Then his two hands were lifted up, and kept leaning on the wall. Then they assaulted him on his hip with the handle of the mamoty. A big book was kept on his head and with the self-same handle they hit the book. For 11days he was assaulted in this way. The hands were twisted and bones were broken as a result. They pulled the nail of the little finger of his left hand using pliers.The report was handed over by the JMO on 20th May 1999.

 

Article 11 of the Constitution guarantees the right of people freedom from all sort of torture, inhumane or degrading treatments. We had to go before the Supreme Courts in number of instances for violating this basic right of people.

 

We quote some of the cases below.††

 

 

Sarojinidevi Thavarajah

Sarojinidevi Thavarajah states that she is a mother of three children, is 54 years of age and a housewife. She states that on the 25th of September 2000 sheand one of her daughters T. Kajitha were living at 82/1-B, Malwatha Road, Dehiwela. She states on that day at about 13 hours officers attached to TIDcame to their house and arrested the petitioner and her daughter T. Kajitha without giving any reason for the arrest. Thereafter both She and her daughter were taken in a van to the Terrorist Investigation Department Unit at old Passport Office, Chaitiya Road, Colombo 01 by the said officers. She states that her daughter aforesaid was released onthe same day though without giving any reason for the arrest or release, but she was not released. At the time the said daughter was released an officer issued her a receipt in respect of the arrest and detention. Neither the officer who issued the receipt nor the Officer-in-Charge disclosed their names on the receipt as such she does not know their names. She states that her daughter was not allowed to see her at the police station on several occasions.Finally on 19/10/2000 her aforesaid daughter was allowed to see her after she produced the approval of the Grama Sevaka and that of the Asst. Government Agent. She states that on 26th September 2000 She was taken to the T.I.D and was questioned.At that time she was beaten by them with a timber bar and with belts. She fell down and still they continued beating her.The pain was unbearable.After that they pulled her by her hair and again beat her. When she asked for water from them they refused and beat her.Again on 27/09/2000 she was taken to the same place and hand cuffed.With her hands behind her back they started beating her.Policeinterrogated and recorded her statement. She states that on 28/ 09/2000 she was very sick as a result of the torture and she was taken to the Colombo General Hospital.At the hospital she was examined by Dr. Dissanayake.On the way to the hospital the officer of the T.I.D threatened her not to mention anything about torture to the doctor but when the doctor asked her, she explained to him of the torture. The T.I.D officers didnít even give her water on that day and ordered her to keep standing inside the office. She states that on 24/10/2000 a police officer made her to write what he dictated and again on 01/11/2000 the same officer made her to write what he dictated. She states that on 08/11/2000 she was again very sick and the T.I.D officers took her to the Colombo National Hospital again and she was examined by Dr. Sivasubramanium. She had explained to the doctor about the torture by the T.I.D officers.After she was medically examined on 08/11/2000 she was taken to the office of the Superintendent of Police Mr. Gamini Disanayake.Mr. Gamini Disanayake wanted the statement recordedto be read, which was done.Thereafter two police officers took her to a different office and asked her to write what one of them dictated and when she showed reluctance, both of them held her by the hair and beat her.She states through fear she wrote what was dictated.They asked her to leave some space which she did and they wrote something and she was forced to sign. She states that the beating at the T.I.D office has caused her intolerable and lasting body pain and often she feels mentally and physically weak. She states that on 20/11/2000 she was again taken to their office and made to correct something of what was written on 08/11/2000 at their office. She was never told why she was detained nor was she served with any detention order. She was not allowed to see an Attorney-at-Law till 04/01/2001 which was after an incriminating statement was obtained from her.††† On 06/02/2001 she was produced before the Chief Magistrate of Colombo under B 3261/2000/ 01 and remanded in the Welikade Womenís Prison. She states that all her statements were forced and she was living in fear throughout the period she was in the 6th floor of Police Headquarters and at the T.I.D office.

 

 

Chandramohan

He states that he is a Citizen of Sri Lanka and 21 years of age.He states that he was taken into custody on or about 29th September 1999 at his sisters residence in Passara at about 2.30 p.m. while he was having lunch, by the Passara Police. He was detained at the Passara Police Station for three days within while period he was subjected to endless harassment and torture. They pulled five of his nails-2 from right hand fingers, 1 from left-hand fingers and 2 from right toes. They inserted head pins into other nails. Burnt his hand with cigarette buds. They beat him with wire at his back and there are scars. Nine officers got together and hit him with poles at the back and the heels. They suffocated him by forcing him to inhale petrol fume filled in a shopping bag.On or about 01/10/1999, he was taken to the hospital where they put bandages for five wounds -of which one was a head injury. On the same night, he was brought to TID in a van. Even on the way they stopped the van near the forest and assaulted him with hands. At the TID the he was detained for 13days. The inquiring officers Mr. Dalugoda, Mr. Shihabdeen, and another handcuffed him and assaulted him with fists and poles. When his hand was bleeding he begged them to take him to a Doctor but they refused to do so, while he signed some papers written in Sinhala without explaining the contents therein. His bloodstain could be seen in those papers. They never told him the contents of the paper. On 08/12/1999 he was taken to the 6th floor and he was compelled to put his signature on some papers. Thereafter on 10/12/1999 he was taken to JMO. On 27/03/2000 the he was produced before the Fort Magistrate with a B report bearing No. B/29450/01 and remanded at the Colombo Remand Prison. On 27/05/2000 he was transferred to Kalutara Remand Prison.

 

 

 

Rape

 

R

ape by a single individual or by a gang is reported in the media. At Alawathura of Bulathkohupiliya, in the night five young people broke open the door of a home and raped a young girl in turn not only that, they robbed the inmates of their radio cassette, money and the jewels worn by the victim. The victim was taken to the Kegalle teaching hospital and admitted for treatment. The Bulathkohupiliya police had caught two of the suspects, and produced them before the Kegalle District Judge Priyantha Silva. They were remanded. The police are on the look out for three army deserters involved in this incident.

 

As we mentioned in year 2000 Situation Report, the army deserters who are about 30,000 according to the police, are a menace to society as they are weapon trained and are hired by the under world gangsters too. Four men saying they were army men forcefully entered a home at Sammanthurai Road, Amparai and after raping a girl of 17 years robbed the inmates of gold Jewelís worth 60.000 rupees. This happened as Sunday 7th January 2001 at about 11.45 p.m. This incident was reported in the Thinakkural of 12th January 2001.

 

The incidents of violations of Human Rights, the forum has been informing Amnesty International and other Human Rights Activists. After the efforts of the Forum to help the victims and have the perpetrators brought to book, such incidents have decreased though there are still some isolated cases. The Supreme Court has repeatedly condemned and imposed sanction by way of making the perpetrators pay compensation to the victims.

The media has been flashing in headlines, the torture and gang rape on two Tamil women both married one with child. They were severely warned not to reveal anything that happened to them after arrest and so were afraid to tell of the cruelty meted out to them.

 

However, they were alloyed of their fears and were promised justice. According to Sivamany, she and her husband stayed at the refugee camp. They booked a room at Asitha Lodge. That night her husband went back to Vavunia.

 

On the day of he incident, 19th of March 2001, uniformed Army personnel, searched the lodge and questioned Sivamany as to whether she was a Tiger when she answered in the negative, they said you are a tiger. Your son told everything saying so they took her (Sivamany) another woman Vijikala (22Years) and her husband Sanmugam Nandhan (34 Years) in a white van.

 

When the van stopped, they took Nandhan and his wife into a building leaving Sivamany, her son, the driver and another person. Then someone took her son away. Two people entered the van and while one person held her, the other stripped her clothes and raped her. When she pleaded, he put his foot in her mouth so no one could hear her. At the same time she heard Vijikala screaming. Later a person came and asked weather she is a tiger. When she said Ďnoí he said what happened to Vijikala will happen to you too and took her inside the building. There he pointed to a bearded person and said Ďhe is the OIC tell him the truth ĎWhen Sivamany pleaded with them to let her go as she is not a Tiger they put a stick inside her clothes and pulled the clothes out and pushed her to lighted area. They tied her hands and legs and with the sticks between.††

 

The loops and placing the stick between two tables rotated it finally, as she could not stand the torture she said she is a tiger. They then made her sign a letter typed in Sinhalese; after that they stopped torturing her and warned Sivamany and Vijikala not to reveal any of these to anyone. If they did they would have to face torture they warned. They were warned not to go for medical tests and talk to anyone

 

At 5.00 a.m. they brought Sivamany into the room. When they tried to remove her clothes, Vijikala was asked to do so. Then she was blindfolded, her hands and legs tied and hang her between two tables as they did for Vijikala. They repeated this treatment off and on, all the time warning not to mention it to anybody. The Mannar Bishop met them and got to know what the two women under went. He brought this to the notice of the Magistrate and sent then for Medical examination.Later some security personnels were arrested by the police in this connection.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

After the brutal rape and murder committed by armed personnel of the Pallimunai Security post, such incidents have decreased.

 

 

 

 

 

Disappearance

 

T

hough this phenomenon has decreased yet, certain incidents do take place. We have taken prompt action over these cases of disappearances as soon as we set a complaint, and have written to the Presidentís Committee on Arbitrary arrests and Harassment. We reproduce some of our letters to the Committee and the replies we got.

 

 

4th April 2001

Our Ref: FD/AH/88/01

The Secretary

Presidentís Committee on

Unlawful Arrests & Harassment,

Colombo 03.

 

Disappearance of S. Asokanandhan

Dear Sir,

 

Mr. Supiah Ganesan of Poonthotam welfare society, Vavuniya has written to us to say that his son Asokanandhan (15Years) who was alone with the members of his family was displaced from Kilinochchi during Jeyasikuru action.

 

They were all living together at the welfare centre, Poonthotam, Vavuniya. His son Asokanandhan, a student went to the Vavuniya Town Council grounds to coach a sports meet held there on 01/10/2000. He went with his brother Muruganandhan, Ragunathan and Sankar.

 

He (Mr. S. Kaneshan) was told by one Saravanabavan that Asokanandhan and three others were taken away by one Joseph Sebastian, also known as Saba. He does not know the where about his son Asokanandhan.

 

He says they came to the welfare centre putting their trust in the Minister Douglas Devananda and the Government. He is pleading with us to help trace his son. As such I shall be thankful to you if you can help to trace this person.

 

Thanking You.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

M. K. P. Chandralal.

for Secretary

 

 

 

4th April 2001

Our Ref: FD/AH/88/01

 

The Secretary

Presidentís Committee on

Unlawful Arrests & Harassment,

Colombo 03.

 

Disappearance of Master Sabaratnam Illayarajah

Dear Sir,

 

The mother of the above mentioned has written to us to say that they were displaced from Chavakachcheri and were residing at Valvettithurai. Her son Sabaratnam Illayarajah 18 years old, left home on 19/11/2000 on his Lumala Bicycle and has not been seen or heard of since then. When the parents made inquiries at the V.V.T army camp and the Police station, they were told that the security officers did not arrest him. As such, please try to trace this boyís whereabouts, as the parents are distraught.†††††††††

 

Thanking You.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

M.P.K. Chandralal

For Secretary

 

 

Ms. Maheswary Velautham

No.44A2/1, Dickman's Road,

Colombo 05

 

Dear Madam,

 

Complaint No.600

 

With regard to your complaint made by you regarding the disappearance of Antony Suthas, the Nave has informed us there is a person by the name Tus Dash Anthony with NIC No. 79026310 V in custody at Eluvathur Police Station. Please confirm his Identity Card number.

 

Thanking you.

 

M.T..M.A. Deen

Secretary

President's Committee on

Unlawful Arrests and Harassment

 

 

8th January 2001

Our Ref: FD/AH/67/00

The Secretary

Presidentís Committee on

Unlawful Arrests & Harassment,

Colombo 03

 

Dear Sir,

Complaint No. 600

 

Regards your letter on the above, dated 08-12-2000, we called the Citizen Committee of Mannar. The said Antony Suthas is a Student and has only his Postal Identity Card, which is XP 0006983. Anthony Suthasís brother gave the above information to the Citizenís Committee. Please inform the navy who has taken Anthony Suthas a G.C.E O/L student on 21-09-1999.†††

 

Thanking you.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Mrs. Manori Wijewardena

for Secretary

 

 

10th January 2001

Our Ref: FD/AH/84/01

The Secretary

Presidentís Committee

on Unlawful Arrests & Harassment,

Colombo 03.

 

Dear Sir,

 


Since 1996 disappearance of Mr. Sathasivam Vivekanandan

 

A photograph of S. Vivekanandan ††††††††††††† A photograph of inmates of

Bindunuwewa Rehabilitation Camp.

 

The above named has been arrested by the Madduvil army on 10th August 1996, while he was at home at Madduvil east, Madduvil, Chavakachchery.At the time he was a teacher.

 

His whereabouts are not known, says his wife.Meanwhile the young manís father Mr. S. Sathasivam of Pitaratmalic, L. Division, Haputale, who visited us handed over a photocopy of a Tamil journal published in France where there was a photograph of some young men at the Rehabilitation Centre, Bindunuwewa. He says one of them is like his son Vivekanandan.We annex herewith the photocopy of the said Newspaper (Namnadu Page: 06, 26/10/2000). Please consider this case as urgent and try to trace his whereabouts.The photograph is the only clue.

 

Please let us know if such a person was at the Bindunuwewa camp.

 

Thanking You.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

M.P.K. Chandralal

For Secretary

 

 

Disappearances take place off and on. We get plenty of media reports on this phenomenon. A young girl of 18 years went to the Kotahena Muthumariamman temple on Tuesday 20th March 2001 and has not been seen ever since. The parents of this young girl Mahalingam Madanika have lodged a complaint with the police.

 

From Hatton news has reached us of the disappearance of a teacher at Hatton. He has had a weekís training at Maharagama National Education Centre and on 2nd March he was returning to Hatton when he disappeared. The person is Sithambaram Thiaganathan (42Yrs). It seemed his postal identity Card was sent by post to his address.

 

One Jayantha Muthubalage, 26 years old fisherman by profession left home on 2nd March 2001 in a boat to fish somewhere between Batticaloa and Trincomalee stretch of the sea and has been missing ever since. He is the father of a child.

 

Sithamparam Sivasekaran is a driver of a Toyota Dolphin belonging to a shop at, Main Street Matale. Some unidentified people hired the vehicle to go to a friendís house at Mihintale. They left on 22nd January 2001 at about 2p.m. ever since then, both the driver and the vehicle were missing. On being complained to the police, a search was organised and the driverís dead body was found in the Eppawala forest area. He was identified by the N.I.C beside his body. He was a father of three children (12th January 2001 Virakesari).

An 18-year-old young man, Supan Sudharsan was missing from 09th January 2001. He was employed at a hotel at Dematagoda (28th January 2001 Thinakaran).

 

Another man (aged 36), a father of 3 children who was reported missing was found in a dead hospital of Gokkaralla. As he very often quarreled with his neighbours after getting drunk it is suspected he was murdered.

 

 

Disappearance Ė Mannar, Vavuniya and Jaffna

 

Most of those who went to fish were the ones who have disappeared. A ban was imposed on fishing in the Jaffna Lagoon. When the ban was lifted five people went to fish in the Lagoon. One of the five is missing. All five were of the same family.

 

Singarajah Yoganathan (34 yrs) of Kurunagar Sea side got into the sea and was fishing and all of a sudden he disappeared (25th March 2001 Thinakaran).

 

An undergraduate of the Jaffna Campus 25yrs old Madana Mohan went to buy a plane Ticket on last year October. Later he went towards Gurunagar. It is suspected he might, have been arrested there. A complaint was lodged with the Human Rights Commission. The officer Mr. Jeeveswara of the Human Rights had contacted the various army camps about the disappearance of this young man (21st March 2001 Virakesari).

 

A 25 yrs old young man of Varikutyyur, Vavuniya was missing since 18th March 2001. A complaint was lodged with the Human Rights Commission.

 

Vanny people live in fear of the white Van that prowls around, and the uniformed individuals in it arbitrarily arrest young people. Recently 08 persons were taken in and three were released. The arrested were blind folded with black cloth and taken. Nothing is known of the five taken away by the uniformed people. Human Rights coordinating officer Mr. S. Raveendran said that they were arrested by the Security officers and nothing can be said about the situation immediately said the officer (12th March 2001 Virakesari, 14th March 2001 Thinakkural).

 

Vigneswaran a young boy of 20 years who was on his way to Point Pedro - The parents complained to the EPDP officers. This boy used to go daily to Point Pedro as he was employed in a shop there and on 06 March 2001, he disappeared while on his way to work.

 

Nothing is known of three young men who were arrested at Varani in the presence of their relatives on 6th March 2001. These boys cannot be traced and are considered disappeared. When the Sri Lankan army was contacted, the latter denied arresting them, though the father of one of the victims declared he saw them being taken away from Nelliady Civil office by Armed Forces. This was told by the father of one of the arrested to EPDP officers.

 

An 18Ėyear-old young man Ė Subramaniam Sudharsan from Kokuvil who went to observe Sivarathri at Kokuvil on Feb. 21st 2001 was missing ever since. A complaint was lodged with the Human Rights Commission (28th February 2001 Thinakaran).

 

Thambiraja Yogaraja 30-years of Uppulankulam, Vavuniya, who went from Colombo to Vavuniya to his home, was arrested at Anuradhapura by the police, on 19th February 2001. When his mother who was at Kantalai, Trincomalee, heard that her son was arrested by the Anuradhapura police collapsed due to shock and died immediately. During the inquiry, it transpired that the said Thambiraja born at Kantalai, Trinco, married and settled down at Uppulankulam, Vavuniya. He was the father of two children. He went to Kantalai to see his mother, the previous week he had come to Colombo to apply for a passport. On the 18th February 2001 he spoke to his wife on the phone & told her he would get back on the 19th. He boarded the train to Vavuniya, but never reached Vavuniya as he was arrested at Anuradhapura. When his father in Law went to Anuradhapura Police to find out the whereabouts, the latter denied arresting him. A fellow traveler only informed the family member of the arrest. The wife of Thambiraja Yogaraja is in a state of shock as her husband has disappeared after the arrest (26th February 2001 Virakesari).

If such cases of arbitrary arrests are reported here, the Forum writes to the Presidents Committee to look into the matter and trace if possible the missing person.

 

A member of a particular Tamil group has been missing from first week of February 2001, and his close relatives have complained to the Human Rights Commission at Vavuniya.

 

Two fishermen Aravindan (21 Yrs) and Suresh (19 Yrs) who went to fish in the sea off Mullaitivu, have been missing since 17th January 2001 (24th January 2001 Thinakkural). Media reports say that at Ariyalai, the Skeleton of an adult male was found in a home. It was identified as that of the owner of the home. During inquiry it transpired that he was one of the people who were displaced in May 2000, and returned to his home after some, time. It is believed he might have been killed during shelling of the area.

 

Towards the latter part of 1998, many skeletons were found in the area (Ariyalai). During the 1st week of Jan.2001 two more skeletons were found in the same area bringing up the number of skeletons to 64. Only 12 were†† identified.

 

A young girl Yoganathan Thadchayani-16 years who left her home at Thonikal on 1st January 2001 at about 9.30a.m, to visit her relatives at Poonthottam did not reach her destination. It is suspected she was arrested by the Security Forces. A complaint of this nature has been lodged with the Vavuniya Human Rights Commission.

 

In mid- May 2001, the Secretary of the Forum for Human Dignity Ms. Maheswary Velautham and Mr. M. K. P. Chandralal the Attorney-At-Law at the Forum for Human Dignity and another member of the staff went to Jaffna and collected over 30 cases of arrests and disappearances which has happened in 1996 and 1997. The Forum takes steps to file Habeas Corpus application in all these instances. There were many complaints of arbitrary arrests and disappearances and the Forum intends taking action to get redress to the wronged ones. The mobile on- the- spot service at Jaffna was very fruitful.

 

People were arrested even when they went about their daily chores like marketing etc. But the army denies even though there were witness at the time of arrests. Almost all of those Habeas Corpus cases were because of arbitrary arrests and the army failing to give information to the Kith and Kin of the victims regarding the whereabouts of the arrestee.

 

 

Disappearances - Trinco, Batticaloa, Ampara & Colombo

 

Nearly 13 cases of disappearances are recorded in the Eastern Province covering Trinco, Batticaloa & Amparai. Two young men Elilvendhan from Karaitivu and M.C. Mohammed Nainz from Rakkama who was on his way to visit his relatives at Santhi Maruthi. He was reported missing.

 

Another young man of 23 years Kanthappu Kanapathipillai of Kinnayady, Valaichenai went to Negombo to work in a Wadiya. He was abducted by some people who came in a vehicle. The person who accompanied him informed his relatives about the incident and they in turn complained to the ICRC. This person had got prior permission from the Valaichenai police to go to Negombo to work, but was abducted.

 

One Thangaraja Jeyaraja (21 Yrs) of Valaichenai has been missing since 13th February 2001. He had gone to Batticaloa town on a personal matter and didnít return.Neither the police nor the Security Forces gave any information. He was a fisherman by profession on the day he went missing some people have seen him last at Oddumavadi.

 

Another young person Peethambaram Pradeepan of Chithandy Thevapura Colony who left his home to visit a relation in the neighbourhood on 26th January 2001, has been missing ever since.

 

A young boy of 10 years Thavarasa Sasikanth who was working in a Jewellery shop at Chetty Street is reported missing from the part 1 month (Jan.2001). He is from Pandiruppu-2, Kalmunai. Another student 15-year-old Tharmaratnam Jeyanthiran too has gone missing in June 2000.

 

Thangavel Sivasambu 67 years old who was employed as watcher at Saraswathy Hall Colombo 4 and at the ladies hostel has been missing since 6th January 2001. His daughter has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

 

Mohammed Thamby Sabras (21 yrs) son of the Director of Education was abducted along with his car by unidentified people and was released at a relationís home, along with the car, in Colombo nothing is known of the abduction or the reason for abduction and release.

 

 

 

 

Detention, Custodial Deaths

and Indiscriminate Killings

 

T

he Constitution says that no person can be arrested, detained and tortured except according to the procedure established by law ĖArticle 13(1), 13(2) right to have a fair trail ĖArticle 13(3) and also that no one ought to be discriminated based as his race, religion, belief, sex and political opinion ĖArticle 12(1).

 

But in practice it is different. There is no better example of custodial death other than the massacre at Bindinuwewa in October 2000. There have been media reports of the some murder of the arrested. In Mannar at Savakathu area one Kanthaiya Uthayakumar (42 years) a family man was arrested by the navy, from his home on 28th February 2001. His dead body was handed over to the Mannar Hospital next morning at 2.55a.m. He was considered to have been strangled to death. This is against Law. The very people who should maintain law and order are the very people who violate it. This kind of activities have been directed it was observed. This arrest and murder have frightened the people of Mannar. The Mannar peopleís group has condemned this foul murder and insists the perpetrators should be dealt with.

 

One Shamuganathan Nithyanandan was brutally murdered while he was in remand at the Kalutara Remand Prison. He was murdered by fellow prisoners. How was a sharp weapon smuggled into the Kalutara prison when there was tight Security was the question asked by M.P. Ponsekara of Batticaloa. He has also written to the Secretary Ministry of Justice to this effect. The victimís body was found in the toilet of the prison with stab injuries in the neck. He and other political prisoners have faced this fate of killing while in custody. It is the state that is held responsible for failing to provide Security in prison.

 

Custodial deaths in the North

 

The deaths of Kanthia Uthayakumar of Mannar who was taken away on 28th February 2001 by the Navy on suspicion that he was harboring a LTTE was brought dead the next day.

 

The other is a young girl who was arrested on suspicion. She had swallowed cyanide. However as she was last in the army camp. The Magistrate has ordered a post mortem to see if there was any other cause, hurt or using her body.

 

Custodial death in the rest of the Island

 

A family man who was arrested and was in prison. On 31st January 1999 P. Susila Pathmini complained that her husband was arrested and kept in remand at Peliyagoda police Station. He was suspected to have been assaulted by the police officer and died as a result of the assault. So the wife made an FR application to the Supreme Court.Attorney general, the IP and O.I.C, C.I.D police, Peliyagoda are mentioned as respondents and has claimed Rs. 20 Lakhs as compensation. The case is pending.††††

 

A prisoner hanged himself in the Motamulla Police station on 10th February 2001 where he was detained. The police said he had used his sarong to hang himself. There is also a rumour that he was assaulted and died thereafter.

 

A young man Indika who was accused to have murdered a man was arrested by Ruwanwella Police on 28th January 2001. While he was being questioned, he fainted and died on admission to hospital. However the public of Ruwanwella is having strained relation ship with the police over this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pass System

 

T

he provision of the constitution say Ė14-(1) Every citizen is entitled to the freedom of movement and of choosing his residence within Sri Lanka, and 15(6). The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognized by Article 14(1) (h) shall be subject to such restriction as may be proscribed by law in the interests of national economy.

 

The freedom of movement mean that a citizen of the country has the freedom to go to any part of the country freely and could choose to reside in any part of Sri Lanka neither the government nor any body of authority can decide as to where as individuals right to choose the place of residence.

 

Take the case of the internally displaced people in Vavuniya. They are continued to camps called welfare centres. From these camps the inmates are given a pass to go out perhaps for duration of 11 hours. Itís almost an open prison. A pass may be for 3 weeks duration, 3 months, or a permanent pass. This pass system was introduced in 1996 people undergo hardship because of this new regulation.

 

They do not have in fundamental right to move freely whatever the constitution says. This pass system is extended to other places such as Jaffna, Mannar etc. it is to be introduced to the East too. While recognizing the necessity of National Security Laws. We stress that the Government must take every steps to minimize the hardships to ordinary citizens of this County.

 

Pass System in the North

 

Those who come to Colombo from the North, and those who go to the North, need to get a pass. This system is being reviewed by Ant Harassment Committee. At the meeting of the above Committee held at the Ministry of Justice, modes of changing the pass system was discussed. People are allowed a time duration to either stay in Colombo or any place in the North. If the people are here for medical treatment or to get a passport to go abroad, they find it difficult as they have to be in Colombo for an indefinite period depending when the medical treatment is over or to obtain the visa to migrate. Hence the pass system is to be changed. The IGP has said there will be a change in the pass system to minimize people from undergoing hardship or inconveniences.

 

The Government Agent, Vavuniya has said there would be a change in the pass system in Vavuniya. It has existed in Vavuniya for the last 16 years. The pass conditions will be relaxed.

 

Virakesari of 24th March 2001 says that the Vavuniya Magistrate Mr. M. Ilancheliyan has said that it is in the constitution that citizen of the country have freedom of movement and that it is wrong to send any passenger out of Vavuniya for lack of necessary documents. It is against the law of the land he said.

 

In Jaffna, Thenmaradchi, those who wanted to go and look up their homes were not allowed to do so by the Security forces. It seemed the area is not fully cleared of land mines. On the other hand devotees were allowed by the Security forces to track to Panditherachchi Amman Kovil for the annual festival where they cook milk rice in the temple premises.

 

Islanders or those who go to the islands to the temple or church should obtain pass from the Navy. They are expected to have the identity card issued by the Navy.

 

 

Photo copy of Application for residential (Renewal) Pass

 

Those Tamils who came from the North and East, to the South are given a certain period to stay here temporarily. The DIG Kotakadeniya has said that he will bring about a change in the system. He informed so to the Presidentís Committee of Unlawful arrest and Harassment. The IGP has been informed of the hardship of Tamils coming to Colombo and to the South for personal reasons and they also face arbitrary arrests, detention and torture when the duration of their stay is over, they are forced to leave Colombo, by Security forces. These cause many inconveniences to those who come to attend family functions.

 

Those who were residing in lodges at Colombo only for 45 days and are asked to get back once 45 days are over. The lodge management also refuse to extend their stay as the. Files turned back at the police station. Those Tamils who come from Mannar are allowed to stay in Colombo or the South only for two weeks. These people say they are not able to attend to or finish the business for which they came.