SRI LANKA: Two arrested from JVP dissident group 

Mr. Premakumar Gunarathnam the leader of the JVP dissident group and Ms. Dimuthu Attigala a member of the same group are reported to be missing from yesterday night. According to a report, published today in the Daily Mirror, both have been arrested. However the grounds on which they were arrested or the location of the place of detention have not been revealed.

The JVP dissident group has been known for taking a proactive task in supporting the a struggle of workers and other marginalized groups such as the fisher folk who have, in recent weeks, held various protest activities against the rise of oil prices and other livelihood issues. It is no secret that the government and the Ministry of Defense are concerned about their activities.

The security of the two arrested persons is a matter of serious concern for all the human rights groups. Torture and other extra-legal punishments are a common practice of the ‘law enforcement’ agencies in Sri Lanka and there are genuine fears for the well-being of these men.

The two persons arrested in December from this same group, Lalith Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganathan remain missing. For details please see: SRI LANKA: The disappearances of Lalith Kumar Weeraju and Kugan Murugan.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) expresses concern about the security of these two person and request the government to reveal the reason for their arrest and their place of detention. The AHRC further urges the government to either release these two men immediately or, if in fact they have committed a crime, produce them before a court of law within the 24 hour period stipulated by law.