SRI LANKA: Urgent medical help needed for torture victim


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-19-2002
ISSUES: Administration of justice, Impunity, Institutional reform, Police violence, Right to health, Rule of law, Torture,

Urgent medical help needed for torture victim 

SRI LANKA – Torture by police, impunity, denial of proper rehabilitation 

Latest update available: Court orders Release Of Lalith Rajapakse 

A young torture victim from a poor family is fighting for his life in Sri Lanka. We are asking you to write today to the Sri Lankan authorities to request urgent medical attention that may save this man’s life and help him return to full physical and mental health. Details of the case, a sample letter and contact details follow. 


Name of victim: Lalith Rajapakse 
Age: 19 
Address: No.328-C, Batagama North, Jaela, Sri Lanka 
Currently at: Ward No. 55, Colombo Central Hospital, Sri Lanka 

Rajapakse was taken into police custody by Police Officer Wijeratne (Badge No. 31125) and two others, of Kabdana police station on suspicion of theft on the 19th of April while he was sleeping at a friend’s house. He was assaulted by the police and taken to the police station. His family was not informed of the arrest, and only learnt of his arrest the following day (April 20th). When the grandfather of the victim visited the Kandana police station, he found Rajapakse lying on the floor of the police cell. Fearing the boy was dead, the grandfather began to cry out, “they have killed him”. Some police officers arrived at the scene hearing the cries and dragged the boy out of the cell, claiming that Rajapakse had suffered a ‘fit’. Rajapakse was later admitted to the Ragama hospital and then immediately sent to the Central hospital due to his serious condition. 

Rajapakse was in an unconscious state until approximately the 7th of May, when he regained a degree of consciousness. To date, the doctors are still unable to give an assurance that the critical stage is over. In addition to his physical malaise, he appears to be completely broken down psychologically and shows tremendous fear at the sight of persons in uniform. Rajapakse’s family is very poor and unable to provide any special medical attention for him. Rapid intervention by State authorities is vital at this stage. 

No inquiry has been initiated thus far regarding this brutal act of toture, though compaints have been made by the family. 


Write quickly to the Sri Lankan authorities, requesting urgent medical assistance for Rajapakse and also asking for an investigation into his torture at the hands of Officer Wijeratne and others at the Kabdana police station. Please send copies to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and also the Chair of the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission 

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


Hon. Prime Minister 

19 year old Lalith Rajapakse of Jaela is currently in a critical contidion in Ward 55 of Colombo Central Hospital due to a brutal assult by police officers. Your rapid intervention to provide urgent medical assistance for Mr. Rajapakse may save his life. 

Mr. Rajapakse suffered the torture on 19th April at the hands of Police Officer Wijeratne (No. 31125) and two others, of Kabdana police station. The victim remained completely unconscious until the 7th of May and remains in a critical condition. The complaint of torture brings a heavy moral and legal responsibility on the government to ensure the victim’s safety, and to ensure an independent assessment of his physical and psychological health. We seek your intervention to save this young man’s life and also to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. 

Yours sincerely 

CC: UN Special Rapportuer on Torture 
Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission 


Honourable Prime Minister 
Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe 
Cambridge Place 
Colombo 7 
Sri Lanka 
Tel/Fax: +94 1 682905 
SALUTATION: Hon. Prime Minister 

Mr. B.L.V. Kodituwakku 
Inspector General of Police 
New Secretariat 
Colombo 1, 
Fax: +94 1 446174 

Mr. B.M. Liyanage 
Deputy Inspector General of Police 
DIG’s Office 
Colombo, SRI LANKA 
Fax: +94 1 328874 
SALUTATION: Dear Deputy Inspector General 

SSP Jayalath Abesiri Gunawardene 
Superintendent of Police 
Area Police Headquarters 
Kelaniya, SRI LANKA 
Fax: +94 1 911374 
SALUTATION: Dear Superintendent 

Hon. Mr. K.C. Kamalasabesan 
Attorney General 
Attorney – General’s Department 
Colombo 12 
Fax: +94 1 436 421 
SALUTATION: Dear Attorney General 


Mr. Theo C. van Boven 
Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the question of torture 
8-14 Avenue de la Paix 
1211 Geneva 10, 
Fax: +41 22 917-9016 

Mr. Fais Musthapa 
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka 
No. 50, Dr. N. m. Perera Mawatha 
Borella, Colombo 8 
FAX: +941 694 924 
SALUTATION: Dear Mr. Musthapa 

*** Please send a copy of your letter to AHRC Urgent Appeals: 
Email: <> 
Fax: +(852) – 26986367 

Please contact the Urgent Appeals coordinator if you require more 
information or wish to report human rights violations. 
AHRC Urgent Appeals Programme 
Asian Human Rights Commission 
Unit D, 7th Floor, Mongkok Commercial Centre, 
16 – 16B Argyle Street, Kowloon, HONGKONG 
Tel: +(852) – 2698-6339 
Fax: +(852) – 2698-6367 

Please contact the AHRC Urgent Appeals Coordinator if you require 
further information or to make requests for further appeals.