SRI LANKA: Law student writes to Inspector General of Police about threats and intimidation 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward to you the following open letter from D.M.T Jayarathne to the Inspector General of Police.

Asian Human Rights Commission
Hong Kong

An Open Letter from D.M.T. Jayarathne forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

D.M. T. Jayarathne
No.4/60, Edirisinghe Rd,

The Inspector General of Police
Police Headquarters,

11th April 2011

Dear Sir,

Further Threats and Harassment Against Law Student – Thushara Jayarathne

My name is D.M. Thushara Jayarathne. I am a Sri Lankan national bearing National Identity Card No. 720692368V. I am a final year student at the Sri Lanka Law College, registered to sit for the final year examinations between October and December 2010. Further to my previous letter to your office on 15th December 2010, citing several irregularities relating to the final year examinations conducted by Sri Lanka Law College, I wish to bring to your attention several further threats made against me following my complaint including an abduction and interrogation on 4th March 2011.

Following my complaint on 3rd December 2010, to the Keselwatta Police, regarding serious examination irregularities, the Principal, Law College, ordered me to appear before an internal inquiry on 11th January at the Law College premises. The Principal threatened that if I failed to appear and state reasons my allegations, legal action will be taken against me for making false allegations against Law College officials. I gave evidence before the inquiry panel on 11th December despite fears regarding my security. I was assured that further inquiry would be conducted and steps taken based on my evidence. However I have not received any information regarding any such measures undertaken by Law College to date.

Ever since my complaint to the police on 3rd December, I have received continuous threatening calls on my mobile phone asking me to withdraw the complaint against Law College. Several calls were made from the Law College land line number which was recorded on my mobile phone. On 4th March 2011, I was abducted, at or around 11 am, by two unidentified men from a public bus stop in Colombo. The men took me to an undisclosed location and questioned me for several hours regarding my complaint against Law College and association with international human rights groups and the United Nations. I was finally released around 11 pm the same day.

I submitted complaints regarding threats faced and the abduction to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Inspector General of Police by registered post but to my knowledge no action has been taken based on my complaints so far.

By its letter dated 3rd March 2011, the NHRC informed me that no further action would be taken regarding my complaint regarding exam irregularities at Sri Lanka Law College since the subject matter fell outside the NHRC mandate. On 7th March 2011, the NHRC informed me that it would take no further action based on my complaint regarding the abduction on 4th March, since the matter fell outside the purview of its legal mandate and did not disclose a violation of my fundamental rights under the Constitution.

28th March 2011, I was visited at my home by two unidentified men who forced me to kneel on the ground and threatened to kill me and Shantha Wijesooriya from Lanka e News if I did not stop my complaints against Law College. A complaint in this regard has been submitted to the Inspector General of Police but no steps have been taken to date. The following day on 29th March, I was visited by two uniformed police officers who recorded my statement and claimed to be acting on the NHRC complaint submitted by me. However, the officer refused to record my specific complaints against the Registrar, Law College and Mr. Namal Rajapakse, a final year student at the Law College and the son of President Mahinda Rajapakse.

On 10th April 2011, at around 11 pm, two men in civil clothing visited my home and forced me to sign two documents which were written in English. I recognised one of the men as a person who visited my home and threatened me on 28 March 2011. The men did not explain the contents of the document to me and did not give me an opportunity to read the document. Since I was afraid for my life and safety I complied with their orders and signed the document under duress. I am not aware of the purpose of this visit and I am afraid that it might be an attempt to force me to withdraw the complaint against Law College. I wish to state that apart from my current complaint against the Law College, I have no other problems or conflict with any other individual or institution in Sri Lanka. Therefore I believe that the documents I was forced to sign, relate in some manner to the ongoing complaint against Law College.

Sir, I wish to bring this incident to your attention as a means of protecting myself against any attempt to produce these documents before court and falsely represent that I had willingly consented to withdraw my complaints against the Law College and its officials. I fully intend to maintain my ongoing complaints regarding examination irregularities and the threats and harassment faced by me. However, as a result of these threats and intimidation, I live in constant fear of a further attack and believe that I am no longer safe in my home. I am under tremendous pressure to withdraw the complaint against the Law College. As a result of these threats, I am compelled to leave my home immediately. I will be grateful if you could inquire into my case and communicate any decision by the Law College or the Legal Education Council to me by electronic communication. I will be grateful if you will look upon my case with kindness and take steps to ensure my safety and security in Sri Lanka.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely

D.M. Thushara Jayarathne

Copies to:
The Honorable Chief Justice
National Human Rights Commission
Parliamentary Ombudsman

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Forwarded Open Letter
Document ID : AHRC-FOL-005-2011
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Threats and intimidation,