Court allows inquiry into CWC's FR petition against mass arrests

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 December 2007, 12:02 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Supreme Court Friday granted permission to the Ceylon Workers Congress to proceed with its Fundamental Rights Violation petition against the alleged illegal arrest and detention of thousands of Tamil citizens without valid reason and reasonable suspicion recently carried out in Colombo and its suburbs by the law enforcement authorities.

The FR petition filed on Thursday came up for inquiry before a three-member bench of the Supreme Court presided by the Chief Justice Sarath Silva. Justices Nimal Gamini Amaratunge and Jagath Balapattebendi were other members, legal sources said.

After preliminary inquiry into the petition, the court directed the Attorney General to submit the list of persons now in detention after their arrest to court on Monday, legal sources said.

The Defence Minister, Defence Ministry Secretary, commanders of the three armed forces, Inspector General of Police, officers in charge of the police stations located in Kirulapone, Bambalapity and Fort and the Superintendent of Police in charge of Nugegoda division have been cited as the respondents in the FR petition filed by an affidavit signed by Arumugan Thondaman on behalf of the CWC in the capacity of its general secretary. Arumugan Thondaman is a minister in the government led by President Mahinda Rajapakse, sources said.

Senior Counsel Mohan Balendra filed the petition in the court Thursday on behalf of the CWC.

The petitioner has begged court to provide guarantee that no Tamils would be arrested in future for the reason that he or she is Tamil.

Another FR petition filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) on Wednesday was also due to be taken on Friday for preliminary inquiry before a 3-member bench of the Supreme Court, sources said.


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