Disappearance of 26 year old man after arrest and torture by Watthegama Police officers in Kandy District
Victim: Saliya Padma Udaya Kumara (26 years old)
Date of incident: from 26 August to 28 August 2003
Alleged Perpetrators: Police officers at Watthegama Police Station in Kandy District
DETAILD INFORMATION: (based on the statement from the victim’s family)
Saliya Padma Udaya Kumara was arrested by the police officers from Watthegama Police Station in Kandy District around 4pm on 26 August 2003. When his parents went to the police station to see their son about 4-5pm on 27 August 2003, they found out that their son was seriously tortured by then.
The next day (28 August 2003), his mother went to see him again but he was not at the police station. She asked police officers where her son is but they didn’t give any answer to her. She prepared a detailed written statement and made complaints to the National Human Rights commission (NHRC), the National Police Commission (NPC) and other authorities. However, there has been no reply from the governmental authorities and the victim’s parents still do not know even whether their son is alive or not.
Your urgent action is required to pressure the Sri Lankan government to investigate this serious case immediately and to brig the responsible persons to justice. More detailed information will be updated soon.
In recent years, the Asian Human Commission(AHRC) has drawn the Sri Lankan Government its attention to the routine use of torture of an extremely barbaric nature, by the Sri Lankan police. Sri Lanka has one of highest figures of enforced or involuntary disappearances. Also, the Sri Lankan government follows a policy of the “Tolerance of Torture” and therefore is unwilling to take action against the police. Even in cases where the Supreme Court has found police officers having had committed torture, the officers are allowed to remain as police officers and even to hold high office. Despite law against torture contained in Act No 22 of 1994, not a single officer has been brought to trial or convicted. The Chief Law Enforcement Officer, the Attorney General, has failed to enforce the law against torture. The National Police Commission (NPC) which as the power of disciplinary control has failed in its duty to control discipline. It has for all practical purposes refused to use its power.
Please send letters to the addresses below expressing your concern about torture and disappearance of Saliya Padma Udaya Kumara. The sample letter was attached below.
1 Hon. Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe
Cambridge Place, Colombo 7
Fax: +94 1 2 682905
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Mr. John Amaratunge
Minister of Interior
Ministry of Interior, Colombo, Sri Lanka
P.O. Box 572, No. 15/5, Baladaksha,
Mawatha, Colombo 3,
Tel: 941 2 430-860
Fax: 00941 2 -385526
3. Hon. Mr. K.C. Kamalasabesan
Attorney General’s Department
Fax: +94 1 2 436 421
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Mr. Ranjith Abeysuriya PC
Chairman National Police Commission
69-1 Ward Place, Colombo 7
Fax: +94 1 2 691 926
Fax HOME: +941 2 674148
5. National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
No. 36, Kynsey Road, Colombo 8
Tel: +94 1 2 694 925 / 673 806
Fax: +94 1 2 694 924
6. Mr. Diego Garcia-Sayan
Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Room 3-043, OHCHR-UNOG, Palais Wilson,
Rue des Paquis 52, Geneva
Tel: 41 22 9179830
Fax: 41 22 9176009
7. Ms. Asma Jahangir
Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions
c/o OHCHR-UNOG, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel: 92 42 5763 234
Fax: 41 22 917 9006 / 92 42 5763 236
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Mr. Theo C. van Boven
Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the Question of Torture
OHCHR-UNOG, 8-14 Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10,
Fax: +41 22 917-9016
Tel: 31-43-3883233 (Assistant: Chantal Kuipers)
Case of Saliya Padma Udaya Kumara (26 years old)
Disappearance after arrest and torture by Watthegama Police in Kandy District
I am writing to bring to your urgent concern of the brutal torture and disapperance of Saliya Padma Udaya Kumara (26 years old). According to reliable information received by the AHRC, he was arrested by the police officers from Watthegama Police Station in Kandy district around 4pm on 26 August 2003. When his parents went to the police station to see their son on 27 August 2003, they found out that their son was seriously tortured by then. The next day (28 August 2003), his mother went to see him again to the police station but he was not at the police station. She asked police officers where her son is but they didn’t give any answer to her. Even though she made complaints to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the National Police Commission (NPC) and other authorities, the victim’s parents still do not know even whether their son is alive or not.
I strongly urge you to investigate this serious case on priority basis and reveal the truth of Saliya Padma Udaya Kumara’s disappearance and to bring the perpetrators to justice. I also urge you to effectively bring disciplinary actions against police officers who resort to torture so that they desist from torture.
In Sri Lanka, there has been the routine use of torture of an extremely barbaric nature, by the Sri Lankan police. Sri Lanka also has one of the world’s highest figures of enforced or involuntary disappearances. Despite law against torture contained in Act No 22 of 1994, not a single officer has been brought to trial or convicted. I strongly urge you to take strong action to stop torture and extra-judicial killings immediately.
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission
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