Vavuniya pilgrim and child detained by Police
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 31 July 2001, 21:01 GMT]
A Hindu pilgrim and his five year old child who were on their way to Kathirgamam were arrested and detained by the Police on 27 July at Nittambuwa, relatives told the Human Rights Commission office in Vavuniya Tuesday. Kathirgamam (Kataragama in Sinhala) is a pilgrimage centre in the in Sri Lankaís southern province. The shrine of the god Murugan here draws thousands of Tamil and Sinhala devotees.
Children of Tamils arrested on suspicion by the Sri Lankan security forces are also detained in Police or army detention cells along with their parents. Human rights organisation and Tamil politicians say that there are many children, some as young as one, are being held thus in maximum-security prisons.
Vavuniya HRC officials said that Kandasamy Sivarasa, 31, and his son Sivarasa Sasikaran, 5, are being detained by the Police in Nittambuwa.
"This is a serious matter which no human rights organisation is taking up for action. We are looking into the matter and consulting human rights lawyers on what can be done about this injustice that is being perpetrated on Tamil children. The government's callous and heinous attitude towards Tamil children would be further evident if one looks into the plight of children in like Sivarasa Sasikaran," said Selvam Adaikalanathan MP for the Vanni.