PLOTE detainees' relatives visit -Amnesty

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 January 1999, 13:24 GMT]
Amnesty International says it has learned that relatives of Subramaniam Atpudarasa (17)and Selvarasa Tamilchelvam (16), who "disappeared" last year after being arrested by the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) were allowed to visit them at one of the ex-militant group's camps.

In a press release issued today, the London based human rights watchdog said the relatives of the two men had visited the PLOTE's "Lucky House" camp in Vavuniya, on around 10 January 1999.

However, Amnesty said the other seven men taken into custody by members of the army or PLOTE between 27 October and 21 December 1998 remain unaccounted for.

The other missing men are Pakiyaratnam Yogeswaran (16), Mylvaganam Jayaseelan (23), Lakshman Ketheeswaran (22), Nadarasa Rajaratnam (30), Veeraiah Udayakumar (30), Gunakularasa Danushan (17 and Ponnathurai Ravindran (alias Ravi)

Whilst welcoming the news that the relatives of Subramaniam Atpudarasa and Selvarasa Tamilchelvam were given permission to visit them in detention; Amnesty urged that they be either released or handed over to the police, if there are sufficient grounds for detention.

Amnesty also urged that all unauthorized places of detention in Sri Lanka be closed.

Earlier Amnesty said several such detention centres were being run by ex-militant groups opposed to the Liberation Tigers.

PLOTE is active predominantly in government-held Vavuniya and its environs. It is accused of running up to 20 unauthorised detention centres by human rights groups.

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