Jaffna Court blocks attempts to send Jaffna youths to South

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 February 2007, 10:35 GMT]
The attempt by Jaffna Police to send the 14 youths who surrendered to Sri Lanka Police fearing for their lives from Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and paramilitaries working with SLA, to rehabilitation centres in South, was stopped by the intervention by the Jaffna District Judge, R. T. Vignarajah, legal sources in Jaffna said.

Fourteen youths surrendered to Jaffna Police either directly or through Human Rights Commission (HRC) in the past 3 days, were kept in Police custody, and the Police tried to send them to rehabilitation centres in south for further interrogation and "rehabilitation."

The parents took the matter to Jaffna Court. Judge Mr Vignarajah sought the advice of Attorney General (AG) of Sri Lanka, Sarath N Silva. The AG discussed the matter with the Commissioner of Rehabilitation and Protection Centre and as a result, a fresh order was issued to the Police to keep the surrendered persons at Jaffna prison along with the other persons surrendered earlier.

Although people who fear for their lives seek refuge in prisons, prisons themselves are not safe in Sri Lanka.

On 23 and 25 July 1983, Sinhala prisoners at Welikada Prison beat 53 Tamil political prisoners to death. On 25 October 2000, 25 Tamil detainees were hacked to death and 16 others were seriously wounded when hundreds of Sinhala villagers assisted by Police attacked the Bindunuwewa detention centre.

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