Sri Lanka C.I.D., Police treat Tamils like stray dogs- Mano Ganesan

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 February 2008, 13:50 GMT]
Mano Ganesan, Leader of Western People’s Front (WPF) Convener of Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC), in a press release issued Saturday, said that "[T]he Criminal Investigation Division (CID) has very clearly contravened the accepted norms, rules and regulations in conducting this arrest [of two tamils] let alone the civility and decency. They have failed to inform the police of the area where the ‘arrested’ persons were living at the time of ‘arrest,' and questioned whether the arrests were "deliberately done on purpose to put fear into the minds of Tamil Citizens."

Full text of the press release follows:

Mano Ganesan
Tamils are not arrested but ‘caught’ at street corners, from their places of residence and business and taken away in the most inhuman uncivilized manner to unknown locations by the state police authorities. It is occurring like municipal ‘dog catchers’ catching ‘stray dogs’ with their ‘dog catching gear’ in ‘dog pound vans’. The Catchers are the Police, Stray dogs are the Tamils, Catching gear is the Police weapons and the Dog pound Vans are famous White Vans! It is happening right in the capitol city of our country and in my electoral district. I am telling this with all the responsibility as elected Parliamentarian for Colombo says leader of Western Peoples Front and Convener of Civil Monitoring Commission Mano Ganesan MP.

“ Mr.Subramaniyam Gajendradas aged 36 and Vinayagasakthi Vijendran aged 35, both of 15/4 Samagi Mawatha, Kowdana, Dehiwela, south of Colombo have been ‘caught and taken away’ forcefully by armed men came in a white van at the night of 12th February Tuesday. Subsequently a complaint has been made by the sister of one of the victims Ms. Pushparani Ramachandiran at the Dehiwela police.

When this issue was brought to my notice, I personally made enquiry with the Dehiwela police on 17th Sunday morning. When I demanded information about the disappearances and subsequent investigations of both the missing persons, the Dehiwela police officer confirmed me the details of the complaint. The officer even very politely corrected me when I pronounced term ‘disappearance’. I was told that it is not just ‘disappearances’ but ‘enforced abductions’ as per the complaint lodged in the Dehiwela police.

However later in the afternoon I was told by the Dehiwela police that it has been found that both ‘missing’ persons are being detained at the C.I.D, branch of the police in Fort. The C.I.D. had ‘informed’ the Dehiwela police by fax on 17th Sunday noon that they had ‘taken in’ the two Tamil persons for an investigation regarding some fraud case on 12th February Tuesday night.

What does this is to the Tamils? The C.I.D. has very clearly contravened the accepted norms, rules and regulations in conducting this arrest let alone the civility and decency. They have failed to inform the police of the area where the ‘arrested’ persons were living at the time of ‘arrest’. It had taken full five days for the Dehiwela police of Sri Lanka police to know that the C.I.D. branch of the same Sri Lanka police had conducted an arrest in Dehiwela police area without their (Dehiwela police) knowledge. What’s more, the ‘policemen’ had gone for the ‘arrest’ in civil attire without sporting any identification numbers but with threatening firearms and also in a white van and not in any official police vehicle. And they have neither identified themselves to the householders nor provided information on where they are taking the ‘arrested’ people. Still the police call it ‘lawful arrest’ after full five days!

This has not only put the innocent family members of the victims in greater mental agony but also the Dehiwela police into unnecessary confusion.

The Sri Lanka police has various special units under it’s umbrella such as TID, CID, Narcotics bureau and many other so called ‘units’ plus the Army intelligence. But there is no coordination between these various units of the same defense establishment. The ‘arrests’ are made shabbily and arrogantly sending fear psyche among the Tamil community. I believe it is being done systematically with a purpose.

Owner of Galle Road’s popular Mysore café in Wellawatte, Mr. Chinnaiah Chelliah was abducted on 12th Tuesday 9 pm by armed men came in a white van # 254-7853. According to the complaint some of the abductors had been in uniform. He was released blindfolded on 16th Saturday 1am in Wattala after assault and interrogation. Mr. Vellaisamy Jegan hails from Puwakpitiya in Avissawella south of Colombo was picked up in Dehiwela and released on 15th Friday night. It is said he had been interrogated by uniformed personnel. Mr. Ragul Chandrakaran of Jampettha Street Colombo 13 and Mr. Muttiah Arasaratnam of Stace Road Grandpass Colombo 14 went missing on 10th Sunday were released on 16th Saturday.

We do not know if they were ‘arrested and kidnapped’ by the police or by ‘others’. We do not know if these victims paid extortion money for their release. There seems to be information but cannot be divulged due to the terrible fear.

Few months before, Mr. Kandasamy Kamaladas boarded the bus to travel from Trincomalle to Colombo with his sick mother. Prior to their departure they were arrested at the Trincomalee bus stand and released in three hours at Trincomalee police station. Later they traveled to Colombo by the night train from Trincomalee. When the train approached Ragama railway station north of Colombo at 5 am on September, 12th, 2007, few tough men entered Kamaladas’s compartment. They then forcefully abducted him out of the station and put into a waiting white van. They took Kamaladas’s mother too in the van and she was thrown out of the van halfway. His crying sick mother was abounded on the street in that early time of the day relatively in an unknown location. His mother reached Colombo with the support of people of the area and reported to the CMC. When the news reached at the international level, Kamaladas was released blind folded somewhere near Dambulla closer to Polannaruwa on the third day of his abduction. During his detention Kamaladas had been kept in a place where many other such captives are being detained. He was released after severe interrogation.

Chinnathamby Subesan aged 30 staying at Kinniya Lodge, Maligakande, Colombo 10 has been abducted from his place of stay at 7 pm on 14th February by uniformed armed men. A complaint has been made at Colombo’s Maradana police and he is still missing. Mr. Asirwatham Suryakumar aged 22 of 134/295 Stace Road Colombo 14 had been abducted by armed men came in a white van by 12 pm 17th Sunday at Kosgas Junction, closer to the Grandpass police. Abductors had blocked his motorbike and pulled him inside the van. The motor bike which was found on the road side is now kept at the Grandpass police. He is also still missing leaving behind his aged parents and physically handicapped brother.

Civil Monitoring Commission is prepared to extent all cooperation to the police for the implementation of law and order. Parliament makes laws for this purpose. Therefore the police are armed with law of the land to arrest any person. The law permits them to conduct such operations. But we in the Civil Monitoring Commission fail to understand what it is stopping the IGP in conducting arrest and interrogation in the acceptable manner instead of picking people randomly without any care for their human rights. We do not understand why the particular citizens of this country are treated like stray dogs and cattle? We fail to understand what it is stopping the IGP in conducting arrest and interrogation in the acceptable manner? We do not understand the lack of total coordination between various agencies of the defense organ of the state? Is it deliberately done on purpose to put fear into the minds of Tamil Citizens?”



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