AG to settle FR petition filed by Tamil woman journalist
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 June 2007, 10:55 GMT]
The fundamental right petition filed by a Tamil woman journalist arrested on suspicion that she was a member of the LTTE suicide squad and later released after one month in detention was mentioned before a three-member bench of the Sri Lanka's Supreme Court Monday. The Bench put off the hearing for July 6 when the State Counsel who represented the Attorney General (AG) submitted that efforts are being made to settle the case outside the court. The Bench comprised Justices Raja Fernando (Chairman), Saleem Marsook and Balapattebendi, legal sources said.
Sivanathan Sivaramya, 26 year-old woman was arrested on May 1st when she went to cover the event held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) to mark the International Media Day. Mr.Mangala Samaraweera participated as the chief guest in the capacity of Foreign Minister. Ms Sivaramya was at that time working as a part-time announcer at the State run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) and also as a volunteer teacher at D.S.Senanayake College.
Her father is a well-known human rights lawyer.
State Counsel Mr.Harshika de Silva submitted to court that instead of conducting the case in court he was moving for a date to settle the matter amicably by talking to the respondents and the petitioner. Accordingly the SC Bench put off the further hearing.
Senior Counsel Mr.V.S.Ganeshalingam appeared for the petitioner.
The petitioner has cited the Officer-in-Charge of police checkpoint at BMICH Mr.Nimal, Inspector Perera, OIC, Cinnamon Gardens Police, Inspector General of Police, and Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Mr.Sunil Sarath Perera, D.S.Senanayake College Principal Mr.Asoka Senani Hewage as respondents.
The petitioner states in her application that the police through media had launched a malicious propaganda alleging that she was a member of the LTTE suicide squad and arrested her on allegation that she had come on a mission to BMICH to assassinate Mr.Mangala Samaraweera who was then foreign minister. She had undergone mental depression and trauma due to malicious propaganda of the police through media. She has lost her jobs in the SLBC and D.S.Senanayake College after arrest.
She begs in her petition that the court should order the respondents and the State to pay fifty million rupees as compensation as relief to her for her mental suffering and financial loss. She said that the police had violated her fundamental rights as her arrest and detention for one month was illegal, and appealed to court to order her reinstatement in the SLBC and D.S.Senanayake College, legal sources said.