SRI LANKA: Kandana police allegedly tortured a man and warned him not to report the incident


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-050-2008
ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest & detention, Threats and intimidation, Torture,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the alleged torture of a man by Kandana police on 6 March 2008 in Sri Lanka. Police allegedly beat him while recording a statement from him in the station and warned him not to make any complaints regarding this assault.


On 6 March 2008, Mr. M.L. Basil Perera was taking a cow to be handed over to a buyer and was walking in the Negombo Road near Welisira. An officer of a check point questioned him about his journey and after he explained he was allowed to proceed. While he went further he was stopped by some village guards who arrested him and took him to the Kandana Police Station.

Police Constable (PC) Wijeratne placed Basil Perera in a cell and later took him out of the cell for a statement. While recording the statement, the officer suddenly hit Basil Perera over his right eye. Basil Perera felt severe pain and closed his eyes and then the officer struck his face once again. Due to this assault he felt severe pain in his head. Later the same officer told the victim not to make any complaints.

After the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the station came he was released. Later the victim entered the Ragama hospital and was admitted. There were visible marks of injury about his right eye. A Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) examined him and made a medical report. The victim also made complaints to the relevant authorities.


The number of complaints that are received from Sri Lankan police stations are full of such similar incidents where persons are arrested for no reason and that during the arrest they are assaulted.

There are several cases decided in the High Courts under the CAT Act (Act No. 22 of 1994) where the Courts have sentenced several police officers for such illegal arrest and assaults which amount to torture under this Act. However, despite of all such actions by the High Courts and even the Supreme Court such arbitrary and senseless arrests and assaults continue to happen.

Please write letters to the authorities below urging them to immediately investigate this alleged torture of the victim by the police.

Please be informed that the AHRC has written separate letters to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture calling for an intervention in this case.

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


Dear ___________,

SRI LANKA: Kandana police allegedly tortured a man and warned him not to report the incident

Name of victim: Mr. Milton Alovisious Basil Perera of No. 131 Albert Mawatha, Thudella, Ja-ela
Name of alleged perpetrator: Police Constable (PC) Wijeratne of the Kandana Police Station 
Date of incident: 6 March 2008
Place of incident: inside the Kandana Police Station, Kelaniya Dist. (North), Kelaniya Division, Western Province (North) Range

I bring to your notice the complaint of M.L. Basil Perera who has stated that he was tortured by a police officer attached to the Kandana Police Station after he was arrested without reason on 6 March 2008. The assault has caused injury to his eye and he had to take treatment at the Ragama Hospital for this injury.

Such stories of arrest without reason and assault are almost daily events that take place in many parts of Sri Lanka. The High Court and the Supreme Court have made so many judgments against this behaviour but there is no change of such practices within the police stations. The National Police Commission was reported this week as saying that in their review of the year 2007 they have seen no improvement of the police. In fact all observers note the further degeneration of the institution. I urge that this case be investigated under the CAT Act No. 22 of 1994 and the perpetrator should be prosecuted.

The victim is also entitled to compensation and medical treatment. Even more important is the need to initiate a process of police reform within the country so that by the process of proper recruitment and proper supervision this practice can be brought to an end.

Yours sincerely,


1. Mr. Victor Perera
Inspector General of Police 
New Secretariat 
Colombo 1
Fax: +94 11 2 440440/327877

2.  Mr. C.R. De Silva 
Attorney General 
Attorney General’s Department 
Colombo 12 
Fax: +94 11 2 436421

3. Secretary
National Police Commission
3rd Floor, Rotunda Towers,
109 Galle Road
Colombo 03
Tel: +94 11 2 395310 
Fax: +94 11 2 395867

4. Secretary
Human Rights Commission
No. 36, Kynsey Road 
Colombo 8 
Tel: +94 11 2 694 925 / 673 806 
Fax: +94 11 2 694 924 / 696 470 

Yours sincerely,

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme 
Asian Human Rights Commission (

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : AHRC-UAC-050-2008
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Arbitrary arrest & detention, Threats and intimidation, Torture,