Premachandran challenges Colombo on ‘Gota’ detention camp in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 March 2015, 08:42 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran on Monday said he was in possession of evidences to prove that there existed a notorious detention camp at the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) base in Trincomalee with more than 700 Tamil detainees and 35 families. “We can provide such evidences only if the witnesses could be protected,” Mr Premachandran said. After the TNA MP had raised the issue in the Sri Lankan Parliament in February, the new regime in Colombo promised to come up with answers. Now, the SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe (UNP) has responded citing the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy as saying that there was no such detention camp. The Sri Lankan Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (UNP) has also gone on record denying the accusation of the so-called Gotabhaya camp.



These blanket denials will not help the Tamil people in any way to differentiate the new regime from the previous regime of Mahina Rajapaksa, Mr Premachandran told the reporters in Jaffna on Monday.

“I am asking the new government: You are appointing commissions to investigate corruption charges of the previous President and many of his ministers. Every day, you come up with new charges against them and launch investigations. You obtain the assistance of the World Bank for such investigations. But, when a member of parliament has come up with the serious allegation of a notorious detention camp, known as ‘Gotabhaya’ camp, what did you do to investigate?,” he said.

“You can't just come up with a simple answer citing the commander of the SL Navy. There should be a full-fledged investigation on the matter. We know that the ‘Gotabhaya’ camp existed in the past. We don't know whether it is still in existence. We are prepared to provide evidences if there is necessary guarantee to convince the witnesses on their security,” he added.

“This is a serious issue. 20,000 Tamils were taken to undisclosed locations in buses at the end of the war. You can't just come up with the statements of denial without proper inquiry,” he said.


Chronology:

 

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