Trinco lawyers condemn Mannar rape
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 April 2001, 15:04 GMT]
"Lawyers cannot be mere onlookers when injustices are done to civilians by law enforcement authorities," said the President of the Trincomalee Bar Association Mr.Arumugam Jegasothy presiding over the special meeting convened Tuesday morning to pass a resolution condemning the brutal and beastly crimes committed on two Tamil women in Mannar by law enforcement personnel when the victims were under their custody.
Service personnel arrested the two married Tamil women, Sivamany Archunan and Vijikala Natkunam on March 19 at Uppukulam in Mannar. Later they were handed to the Counter Subversive Unit of the Police. They were gang raped and tortured by service and police personnel from about 11 p.m. till around 5 a.m. on the next day.
The special general meeting of the Trincomalee Bar Association was held at the magistrate court complex.
The motion condemning the Mannar incident was passed unanimously.
Proposing the motion Mr.Jegasothy said: "It is the bounden duty of lawyers to raise their voice against atrocities committed on unarmed civilians irrespective of their caste, creed or race. In other words lawyers are considered as watchdogs of the people. They have a moral right to safeguard the human rights of civilians".
Mr.A.W.Abdul Sattar, Secretary of the Bar Association seconded the motion.
Mr.Sattar said: "As lawyers we have a moral duty to condemn such types of human rights violations".
Attorney-at-Law Mr.M.A.M.Salihu said: "Mere passing resolutions condemning the atrocities committed on civilians will not bear fruit. We should find ways and means to stop such types of violation in the future. We must request the authorities that the security of female suspects under detention should be handed over to women police officers above the rank of a Sub-Inspector."
On a suggestion made by Attorney Ms.Subashini Chitravelu, the general meeting of the Bar Association decided to send the resolution condemning the Mannar incident to the President with copies to the Minister of Women Affairs, the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission and the Chief Justice.