Tamil youths detained in MI operated Secret Detention Centres in south - UNP MP

[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 July 2006, 08:33 GMT]
Sri Lankan Military Intelligence (MI) is operating secret detention centres in Dematagoda, Kiribathgoda and in several other secret locations elsewhere, charged T. Maheswaran a Tamil parliamentarian from the opposition United National Party (UNP) in Parliament on Friday when an adjournment motion to censure the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government for failing to arrest the killers of the Sinhala investigative journalist Sampath Lakmal, tabled by Kalutura District UNP MP Rajitha Seneratne, was taken up in the Sri Lanka’s Parliament.

Kalutura District UNP MP Rajitha Seneratne who tabled the motion, and the Colombo UNP Tamil MP Maheswaran, blamed the Sri Lankan MI for - the killing of investigative journalist Sampath Lakmal, the killing five Tamil youths and leaving their decapitated bodies in a way side scrub in Avissawella, maintaining of secret detention camps for Tamil youths, killing of prominent Tamil and Sinhalese journalists and pilfering large sums from their victims, parliamentary sources said.

The Kalutura MP said that the investigative journalist Sampath Lakmal had information on the killers of the five Tamil youths and left their decapitated bodies strewn across a way side scrub in Avissawella on 27 April.

Senaratne said journalist Sampath Lakmal has amassed information on extortion of money by the members of the state intelligence service and had maintained records of the extrajudicial killings by the state security forces.

MP Maheswaran speaking at the debate demanded that the government release information of all the Tamil youths, male and female, who are currently detained secretly in the military intelligence detention centres in Demategoda and Kiribathgoda, and in other secret military camps elseware in the South.

Speaking at the adjournment motion, the MP for Kalutura said that the Lakmal’s mother has told that on the night of his murder, her son went out saying, he was going to see Kumara Sir, as he has asked to meet him, in a call he gave at 9 p.m. ‘Kmara Sir’ turns out to be none other than his journalistic contact, Military Intelligence Officer Corporal Pushpa Kumara and it was Pushpa Kumara and SL Army Lt. Anton Christie who killed journalist Lakmal, alleged the MP.

Tamil MP Maheswaran told parliament that the Mankulam businessman S. Gunaratnam, whose decapitated body was found in the scrub in Avisawella, had two million rupees with him when the Military Intelligence took him away.

Colombo MP Maheswaran said that he contacted the police and all relevant authorities to get the possessions of the five Tamil youths found killed in Avissawella and get their bodies released from Kalubovilla Hospital Mortuary for cremation but without any success for more than two months. Finally the authorities released the bodies but without their possessions, he added.

The Kalutura MP said the Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and Defence Analyst Iqbal Athas had received death threats and the country’s press freedom was under severe threat.

JVP MP for Kurunegala District, Bimal Ratnayake, who argued defending the Sri Lankan Military Intelligence (MI) said the MI should not be blamed for the killing of journalist Sampath Lakmal.

The JVP MP said it was an "international underground mafia gang" that has carried out the killing.

UNP MP Seneratne, also blamed the UPFA government for not carrying out proper investigations to find the killers of renowned Tamil journalists like Sivaram, Nadesan and Nimalarajan and Sinhalese journalist like Richard De Soyza.


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