Norwegian delegation visits Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 September 1998, 09:06 GMT]
A group of lawyers in Vavuniya told a visiting Norwegian delegation that ninety percent of confessions obtained from young detainees were not factual, said sources there.

The Norwegian delegation, including the first secretary of the Royal Norwegian embassy in Colombo and other high ranking officials from Ministry of Justice and Immigration department visited Vavuniya on Monday, September 21, on a fact finding mission.

The delegation found out about the general situation in the town, the status of displaced people, the standard of living in welfare centres and the treatment of people arrested on suspicion, the sources added.

The delegation also made several inquiries about the implementation of emergency regulations and the human rights situation in general.

Lawyers told the delegation that under the prevailing emergency regulations the security forces are given widespread powers to arrest any Tamil, the source said.

When someone is arrested from a displaced family living in a welfare centre, the rest of the family is often not informed of the arrest and this can lead to the break up of the family. In such situations, the lawyers added, the family also does not always receive the necessary legal assistance that they are entitled to, the source added.

The delegation also met the UNHCR representative, ICRC officials, the Government Agent (GA), human rights activists and other government officials.

 

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