SRI LANKA: Case of alleged torture, illegal arrest and detention of Liyanage Pasindu Yasantha Perera by some officers of Kalutara District Crime Division


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC UAC-002-2020

 16 July 2020

SRI LANKA: Case of alleged torture, illegal arrest and detention of Liyanage Pasindu Yasantha Perera by some officers of Kalutara District Crime Division

ISSUES: Torture, Illegal arrest and detention 

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is bringing to your notice this case of alleged torture, illegal arrest and detention of Liyanage Pasindu Yasantha Perera by some officers of Kalutara District Crime Division


On the morning of 18th May 2020, Police officers attached to the Kalutara District Crime Division of the Kalutara Police arrested the complainant. From the time of arrest until the complainant was brought to the Kalutara District Crime Division he was beaten by the police officers.

The police officers tied the complainant’s hands together and then wrapped his hands and his whole body with a heavy metal chain. The complainant was then hung by his feet from a top plank of a bunk bed to which a pulley had been fixed and the pulley and a rope were used to pull the complainant into the hanging position. The complainant was beaten by the police until 1:30pm whilst in that position. They repeatedly asked him to give up a weapon, which he had no information about and was not in possession of. They also repeatedly demanded that his father handed over to them a weapon. The complainant denied having a weapon.

Complainant was later removed from this position for a short while and was permitted a visit with his father, Manjula Perera, who had arrived at the police unit.

Around 2:00pm, he was again hung by his feet in the same manner, and was left in that position till 5:30pm. He recalls that from time to time he would be beaten and demands were made of him to give the police officers of a weapon. During this time, two of the complainant’s friends were also brought into the room in which the complainant was hanging by his feet. His friends were frightened by the sight of the treatment the complainant was subjected to. His friends were questioned about the complainant and as to whether he had had a firearm in his possession. They denied seeing him in possession of a firearm. They too were extremely frightened by the experience. 

After around 5:30pm, the complainant was removed from the hanging position and was forced to sit in a chair. Sub Inspector Dayasena threatened the complainant by saying “We have notified your father, he will come to take you. Don’t inform anyone about the fact that you were beaten. If you mention it to anyone, you will face charges of having drugs in your possession and we will put you in jail for 10 years.” SI Dayasena had examined the complainant’s body all over my body and asked if the complainant wanted to get any medication. Then he stated again that if the complainant opened his mouth that the police would charge him with possession of drugs and imprison him for 10 years. 

At around 8:00 or 8:30pm, the complainant’s father took custody of the complainant and admitted him into the Kalutara Hospital. 

On 19th May 2020 the complainant’s father, lodged a complaint with Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Kalutara District. On 20th May 2020 complaints were made to the National Human Rights Commission, National Police Commission and the Inspector General of Police. The complainant has also informed the Attorney General’s Department of the incident.

The complainant has not been notified of any steps taken in response to the complaints and to the best of the complainant’s knowledge, the police officers that beat the complainant including SI Dayasena have not been subjected to any disciplinary action, inquiry or investigations towards instituting criminal proceedings. They continue to serve in the police force without any consequence.

Various individuals including the Officer in Charge of the Kalutara District Crime Division have made several interventions demanding from the complainant that he refrain from pursuing legal redress in this matter and indicating that ‘a settlement’ is possible.


The AHRC calls for quick and stringent action by the Sri Lankan authorities and intervene in this case promptly. The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

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


Dear ___________,

SRI LANKA: Case of alleged torture, illegal arrest and detention of Liyanage Pasindu Yasantha Perera by some officers of Kalutara District Crime Division

Name of victims: Liyanage Pasindu Yasantha Perera 
Name of alleged perpetrators: Police officers attached to the Kalutara District Crime Division 
Date of incident: 18 May 2020 to the present
Place of incident: Kalutara District Crime Division, Sri Lanka

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the arrest, detention and torture of Liyanage Pasindu Yasantha Perera allegedly by some officers of the Kalutara District Crime Division. It is alleged that said police officers arrested, detained and tortured Yasantha Perera on the mistaken belief that he was in position of a gun. Obviously police officers had no evidence at all to that effect. Instead, he was tortured with the idea of collecting the information from victim himself. As he did not know about such a gun, he could not provide any information to the police. So it appeared he was assaulted further.

Later, he had to be released because it was a case of a false arrest based possibly on false information. He was later taken to the hospital by his parents and according to the information received the doctor confirmed that alleged assault.

There had been serious of previous complains of police assaults of torture and ill treatment. I have been informed that the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka itself has confirmed such torture in over hundred judgements they have delivered in recent times.

I am requesting you to intervene on this matter in your official capacity and ensure the following.

1. That the matter should be taken with the Sri Lankan Government requesting an urgent intervention,
2. Specially request protection for the victim and his family members,
3. Request for a thorough medical examination by a competent doctor, who works outside the territory of this police station,
4. Request that the victim is not implicated in grudge litigation.

I look forward to your prompt action in this matter.

Yours Sincerely,



  1. Mr. C. D. Wickramaratne
    Acting Inspector General of Police
    New Secretariat
    Colombo 1
    Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877

2. Mr. Dappula de Livera
Attorney General 
Attorney General’s Department 
Colombo 12 
Fax: +94 11 2 436421 

3. 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 

4. Assistant superintendent of Police
District crime Division,
Kalutara South. 
Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 34 2222199

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Program
Asian Human Rights Commission (