Resident pass restrictions afflict Trinco too
[TamilNet, Monday, 11 June 2001, 19:01 GMT]
"The Police exert pressure on Tamil persons who temporarily reside in Trincomalee town to return to their own areas when they go to police stations to renew their resident permits every month", said Mr. Soosaipillai Jesuthasan, Secretary of the Trincomalee District Refugees' Welfare Association speaking at a meeting between representatives of non-governmental organizations in Trincomalee and Mr.Selvakumaran, an official of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Monday.
The HRC official, who met local NGOs in Trincomalee at the Social Service Centre in the eastern port town, said that he would take up this matter at his monthly briefing with the heads of armed forces and Police in Colombo.
Mr. Jesuthasan further said, "A large number of Tamil families have come to Trincomalee from other parts of the northeast province on their own and reside here, renting out houses and obtaining temporary resident permits from the local police. They want to reside in Trincomalee until normalcy returns to their home areas. But the Police now say that temporary resident permits cannot be renewed after three months and is pressurizing them to return to their villages".
Mr. Jesuthasan further said, "Security forces in some areas where the three communities (Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim) live, order only the Tamils to obtain special district identity cards".
Attorney-at-Law Kasinathar Sivapalan, a human rights activist, pointed out to the HRC Commissioner that the Convention against Torture and Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act No 22 of 1994 remains an ornamental law.
Mr. N. Selvakumaran later met high officials of armed forces and Police in Trincomalee. He briefed them about the role of the Human Rights Commission in safeguarding the human rights of the people, HRC sources said.