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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Mass arrests & torture of Tamils in Colombo...
"...In late May the Human Rights Task Force (HRTF) recorded over 810 Tamil detentions in Colombo and Kalutara prisons and at the police headquarters. Colombo human rights agency the Movement for Inter-Racial Justice and Equality (MIRJE) says that cordon and search, random arrests and house-to-house searches take place almost every day. According to MIRJE many more Tamils are currently held in police stations.
Vadivel Vethanayagam who refused to give his lorry to a police inspector was
arrested in December and is held under the
Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Mr Vethanayagam says he was tortured and his three year-old daughter was also detained at the Crime Detection Bureau for two months.
Velsamy Vigneswaran, held in Colombo Magazine prison alleges in a fundamental rights application to the Supreme Court that he was arrested on 7 February and brutally tortured. Student Thiraviyam Sutharshan, 22, arrested on 25 January in a refugee camp in Vavuniya alleges he was hung by his legs and beaten by the Army. Over 70 people were arrested in the Hill Country town of Kandy in a search operation on 20 May. Police say many of them were unable to produce their national identity cards and proof of police registration. Under current Emergency regulations all residents must register with the police. MIRJE says only Tamils are checked for registration.
Hill Country resident Palaniyandy Kanagasivamís wife Mallika says in a
fundamental rights application that her husband,
arrested on 9 January, was sent illegally to a rehabilitation centre when he refused to sign a prepared confession. She also says
that her daughter Thamilvani is detained at the Kandy police station since January and forced to sign a confession under threat
of torture... (British Refugee Council Publication, Sri Lanka Monitor, May 1997)
"The authorities continue to breach Emergency regulations in arrest and detention of suspects. Trader Velupillai Yugarajah, 45, arrested on 26 March, has neither been informed of the reasons for his arrest nor a receipt issued to his relatives as required by the Presidential directives under Emergency regulations.
Many held in custody allege torture. In a fundamental rights application to the Supreme Court, S Ganesh, 18, currently held in Colombo Magazine prison says he was tortured at a police station. The Court has ordered a medical examination. Egamparam Nirmalanathan, 18, arrested in Batticaloa on 27 October also alleges that he was subject to severe torture at the Kurumanveli STF camp.
Navaratnam Rajakumar in Kalutara prison alleges that he underwent severe torture at the Vavuniya Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) after his arrest on 31 October. His head was covered with a plastic bag dipped in petrol as he was punched and kicked. Kumaru Selvaratnam who runs a tutory in Colombo arrested on 28 March underwent three operations as a result of torture at the Slave Island police station.
Sinnathamby Theivanai and her husband were arrested on 6 September by the Polonnaruwa police. Theivanai was produced before courts only on 21 November and is currently held under a detention order at the Welikada prison. She says that officers of the Crime Detection Bureau (CDB) threatened her with torture and hung her husband by his feet and tortured him in her presence. Theivanaiís two year-old daughter is also in prison with her. (British Refugee Council Publication, Sri Lanka Monitor, April 1997)