Judicial investigations on Mannaar killing fields marred by Colombo transferring judges

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 September 2018, 23:19 GMT]
The all-Sinhala Judicial Service Commission (JSC) of the unitary state of genocidal Sri Lanka has been subjected to political influence by the regime of occupying Colombo sabotaging the independent investigations of the mass graves in Mannaar. The judicial investigations on mass graves exhumed four years ago at Thirukkeatheesvaram in Mannaar mainland with 88 human skeletons and the latest excavations at the entrance to Mannaar city at the premises of Cooperative Wholesale Establishment, where traces of 111 slain humans, including children and women, have been marked so far since 28 May, informed sources in Mannaar and in Colombo told TamilNet. The local media is thoroughly avoiding to report the controversy, and the lawyers are avoiding to talk about it fearing charges against them based on Contempt of Courts, the sources further said.

The SL JSC has now transferred District Judge/Magistrate T.J. T.J.Prabhakaran, who was posted to Mannaar replacing A.G. Alex Raja two months ago.

Magistrate T Saravanaraja, who served in Up-Country, has been transferred to Mannaar, replacing T.J. Prabhakaran.

T.J. Prabhakaran was also facing pressure and political opposition, the sources said without going into details. He was disliked by many, including the notorious SL Minister from Mannaar Rishad Bathiudeen, the sources said.

Prabhakaran was initially prohibiting journalists from covering the mass grave investigations through an infamous motion, based on the application from the SL Police. He then lifted the ban after the journalists made a legal representation against the ban.

In the meantime, a much-anticipated court order, which was expected to come from the Magistrate of Mannaar on 24th August on the subject of forensic examinations of exhumed skeletons from Thirukkeatheesvaram, was also postponed to a later date on 05 November 2018.

The Magistrate was expected to issue a strict order demanding the SL authorities not to delay any further the selection of a credible, independent and international third-party institution to carry out forensic examinations of the skeletons exhumed four years ago.

The latest transfer has come under these circumstances, and it was not part of a scheduled annual or mid-term transfer, an informed Sinhala Judge in Colombo said on condition of anonymity.

The SL Judicial Service Commission consists of the SL Chief Justice and two other Supreme Court Judges appointed by the SL President.

Justice Priayasth Dep PC, a Sinhalese, is the current Chief Justice who heads the JSC. The other two Supreme Court Justices, S.E. Wanasundara (PC) and K. Sisira J. De Abrew, are also Sinhalese. H.S. Somaratne, the secretary of the JSC, responsible for transfers, is also a Sinhalese. Even among the employees at the JSC, only one, a secretary of the Chief Justice, is Tamil.

The families of the victims of enforced disappeared in the five districts of the Northern Province staged their protest on the International Day of the Enforced-Disappeared Persons this year in Mannaar.

Most of the people who take part in the continuous protests on behalf of the families of Tamils subjected to enforced disappearance are mothers and wives of the victims.

NPC Minister of Women's affairs Ms Ananthy Sasitharan, who is also demanding the SL State to reveal the whereabouts of her husband, Mr Elilan, has called for excavations by international experts of all the localities in the North-East where the SL military was camped in during the times of war.


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