Sri Lanka HRC key officials visit Jaffna
[TamilNet, Monday, 02 February 2009, 15:12 GMT]
A high profile team of Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC) Colombo arrived Friday in Jaffna where they met Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officers and the magistrates in Jaffna and discussed matters related to the interests of persons placed in the protective custody of Jaffna Prison and the civilians brought to Jaffna peninsula by the SLA and placed in detention camps, sources in Jaffna said. The team flew back to Colombo Sunday.
The SLHRC team from Colombo consisted of SLHRC Secretary, Ms. Chandra Ellawella, Director of Monitoring, Ms. Thusitha Samarasekara and the Chairman of Disaster, Relief Management Unit, Y. K. de Silva.
On its arrival Friday the team first paid a visit to the SLA base in Thellippa’lai where they discussed matters related to the 47 youths in the SLA Special Rehabilitation Centre as well as about the needs of the women and children in the Refugee Camp in Thellippa’lai, with the SLA officers.
The lack of nutrient food for the children in the above Refugee Camp was also discussed with the officers.
Jaffna HRC legal advisor, V. Sanjenthira and other officials accompanied the high profile team from Colombo to Thellippa’lai SLA base.
The SLHRC team visited Jaffna Prison Saturday where they met the persons placed in protective custody due to death threats from SLA soldiers and SLA-backed paramilitary men in Jaffna peninsula.
The lack of vehicles to transport the inmates to courts, the lack of employees in Jaffna prison were some of the matters discussed with the prison authorities by the visiting HRC team.
A considerable number of persons placed in the protective custody of Jaffna Prison requested the visiting officials to help obtain permission for them to leave Jaffna peninsula.
The officials responding to the request told them that this matter was beyond their power, Jaffna Prison sources said.
The visiting HRC officials also met Jaffna High court Magistrate R. T. Vicknarajah and Jaffna Magistrate, Vasanthasenan to hold discussions.
When the subject of the civilians brought by SLA from its occupied areas of Vanni and Vadamaraadchi East and kept in the detention centres in Jaffna was taken up with Jaffna Superintendent of Police by the Colombo team, he said that he has nothing to do with this matter which is handled exclusively by the SLA and Jaffna Government Agent, sources in Jaffna said.