Youths to remain in congested prison in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Friday, 23 February 2007, 09:33 GMT]
Jaffna district Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri informed that due to lack of security arrangements, the Rehabilitation Centre at Tellipalai cannot be reopened to accommodate the 40 youths placed under the protective custody in the Jaffna prison, legal sources in Jaffna said. The SLA commander was responding to the application filed by Jaffna police Thursday in the Jaffna District Court before Jaffna District Magistrate R. T. Vignarajah, legal society sources in Jaffna said.
The District magistrate said that this matter has been brought to the notice of Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and that he had discussed the possibility of reopening the Tellipalai Rehabilitation Centre with Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse and the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Centre.
Both had assured that steps will be taken to reopen the Rehabilitation Centre to relieve the congestion in accommodation to the youths in Jaffna prison, the magistrate added.
The 40 youths in the past had sought protection with the Human Rights Commission in Jaffna fearing for their lives at the hands of the Sri Lanka Armed forces and their collaborating paramilitaries in the Jaffna peninsula.
The Jaffna District Court had directed the Jaffna prison authorities to take in the 40 youths under its protective custody, in response to the request made by the HRC.
The Rehabilitation Centre at Tellipalai, located in the SLA High Security Zone, had been functioning from 1998 until the signing of the Cease Fire Agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in February 2002.