Supreme Court calls for AG’s report
[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 July 2009, 12:51 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Friday directed the Attorney General to report on August 6 the position of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) about releasing internally displaced families from Vanni region now being detained in several camps in Vavuniyaa to ensure their right to live anywhere according to their wish. “It is unjust to detain IDPs in camps contrary to their wish,” the Supreme Court pointed out to the Deputy Solicitor General when it took up a Fundamental Rights petition filed by a relative on behalf of a four member family now being illegally detained in Veerapuram centre of the Vavuniyaa Kovil Kulam main camp for inquiry Friday. These camps are described by human rights organizations and activists as ‘internment camps’.
Seventy-year-old Kanapathipillai Ehambaram once detained in an IDP
camp and later discharged due to his old age filed an FR petition seeking the release of his daughter Jesuthas Rajenthini, headmistress of Naachchikudha government school, son-in-law Jesuthas Nimalraj and two grand daughters Niranjini and Puhalini from Veerapuram centre and to order two million rupees to them as compensation because of their fundamental rights to live anywhere has been violated.
The FR stated that detention of people in camps without valid legal authority is a violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens.
The counsel for the petitioner Mr. S. M. Wijethsingh told court that IDPs had been detained in camps without enough food and water and other basic facilities.
"The camp authority has refused permission for the petitioners to leave the camp and hence the petitioners have appealed to the superior court to obtain relief," he added.
The Deputy Solicitor General Mr. Sanjeev Rajaratnam informed court that the government is looking into the possibility of releasing IDPs from camps.
The court in conclusion directed the DSG to inform the Attorney General to forward a report on the position of the government in this regard on the next date, August 6.