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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
" No development is reported in investigations on the killing of 28 Tamils in a rehabilitation centre at Bandarawela in October. The police say 30 youths suspected of involvement in the massacre are absconding. Currently 13 policemen, two soldiers and 26 civilians are in custody over the incident. Fourteen Tamil youths wounded in the attack are being treated in Colombo and Diyatalawe hospitals. Visitors say that the ten youths in Diyatalawe hospital remain handcuffed. According to Colombo agency the Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD), no one has been allowed to see the four persons receiving treatment at Colombo hospital...
In the aftermath of the massacre at the Bandarawela rehabilitation centre in October, Tamil detainees in prisons and detention centres have expressed fear for their safety. Detainees in Kalutara prison, 25 miles south of Colombo, demand transfer to detention centres in Tamil areas. In the alternative, they suggest transfer to any detention centre in Colombo, with facilities for supervision by international human rights agencies. The Kalutara prisoners allege that after the Hill Country killings, a number of Tamil prisoners were isolated on the pretext of enquiry and brutally assaulted by prison guards. In late October, at least six detainees were taken out of the prison allegedly for transfer to other prisons.
In mid-November, Justice minister Batty Weerakoon ordered strengthening of security for Tamil detainees in Kalutara and Boossa detention centre in Galle, 65 miles south of Colombo. The minister also wants special protection for Tamil detainees when they are taken to courts to attend cases. But observers say that in the light of the large number of detainees under Emergency regulations and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and security force and prison guard connivance or participation in massacres, these measures are unlikely to make any difference to the present climate of impunity.
According to reports, currently there are some 2,500 Tamil detainees under the Emergency regulations and the PTA in eight prisons, 346 police stations throughout the island and a few Army camps. many of them have not been charged and cases relating to others are dragging for months or years as a result of delays in the Attorney General and Police departments. Observers say that there is an urgent need for the review of the detention regime as recommended by Amnesty International..." (British Refugee Council, Sri Lanka Monitor November 2000)