UPDATE (Sri Lanka): Subsequent pressure by Ambalangoda police to the torture victims continues


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-047-2007
ISSUES: Threats and intimidation,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information about the alleged subsequent pressure to teenage torture victims Alagiyawadu Lakmal Chathuranga and L.P. Pradeep Kumarage, who were tortured in a most inhuman and degrading manner by the Ambalangoda police on 7 August 2004. The victims were released on 9 August 2004, and subsequently their parents lodged complaints to several authorities against the police officers who allegedly tortured the boys. The police intimidation against the victims started after these complaints were lodged in order to force the parents to withdraw their complaints. Please refer the UA-100-2004 and UP-113-2006 for details of the original incident.


To briefly remind you of the original torture case, on 7 August 2004, Alagiyawadu Lakmal Chathuranga, aged 15, and L.P. Pradeep Kumarage, aged 14, were arrested by police officers in civilian clothes from the Ambalangoda police station on the accusation of stealing a gold chain. The two boys were then taken to the police station without being accompanied by their in violation of law.

The boys were then allegedly stripped naked and blind folded at the police station, where they were brutally assaulted by the police officers with wooden sticks. The two boys were released on 9 August 2004, after their parents paid Rs. 3000 (USD 29) to the police and signed a dubious statement written by the police.

Later on the parents of the boys lodged a complaint against the concerned police officers to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the National Police Commission (NPC), the Human Rights Commission (HRC), the Attorney General and others. Later the HRC began an inquiry into the incident, while the IGP referred the case to be investigated by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) whose officers had visited the victims’ home and recorded several statements.

For more details of the original incident, please see UA-100-2004 and UP-113-2006.

Meanwhile the alleged perpetrators (Ambalangoda police officers) started threatening the family of Alagiyawadu Lakmal Chathuranga to withdraw the complaint made against them. The family has been continuously receiving serious threats till now.

Meanwhile, the mother of L.P. Pradeep Kumarage has also made several complaints to the HRC of Sri Lanka, the NPC and the Attorney General regarding the threats made by the police authorities against her and her family. The latest complaint about the threats was made by her on 24 March 2007.

Apparently, the HRC of Sri Lanka has conducted an inquiry into this complaint made by the victims’ families, however it seems there are no recommendations directed to the police authorities on this matter.

Please write to the relevant authorities listed below and urge them to order a fair investigation into the case and take legal action against the alleged perpetrators without further delay. Please also urge them to give the victim and their family all necessary assistance for seeking legal remedies on this case.

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Dear __________,

SRI LANKA: Subsequent pressure by Ambalangoda police to the torture victims continues

Name of victims: 
1. Alagiyawadu Lakmal Chathuranga (15 year-old at the time of arrest), resident of no. 59 Awasawatte, Andadola, Watugedera, Sri Lanka
2. L.P.Pradeep Kumarage (14 year-old at the time of arrest), resident of no. 62 Awasawatte, Andadola, Watugedera, Sri Lanka
3. Family members of both of the victims above
Alleged perpetrators: Police officers of the Ambalangoda police station, Ambalangoda district, Elpitiya division, Sri Lanka
Date of incident: allegedly tortured on 7 August 2004; receive continuous threats to present

I am writing to you to express my deepest concern about the alleged continuous intimidation and threats against the families of the two torture victims, who were minors at the time of the incident on 7 August 2004.

I am deeply concerned about the huge delay in investigation into the alleged brutal torture of two minors by the Ambalangoda police. The investigation has not been completed for the last two and a half years since the incident took place.

I have also learned that the Ambalangoda police officers concerned have been constantly threatening the families of the two victims to withdraw the complaint made against them. The mother of the L.P. Pradeep Kumarage has made several complaints regarding these threats to the to the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, the Chairman of the National Police Commission and Attorney General. The latest complaint about the threats was made by her on 24 March 2007.

According to the information I received, the HRC had made inquiries on the complaint made by the victims’ family. However its inquiry results are unknown to the families and no measures have been taken to improve the security of the families and stop the threats against them by the concerned police officers.

As far as I know, torture of minors is prohibited under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), while an arbitrary arrest and detention are prohibited under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). As a state party to both of these international treaties, Sri Lankan government should fulfil its obligation under these treaties and protect the rights of its citizens.

In light of the above, I urge your strong action to ensure that an investigation into this case is completed as soon as possible and that the alleged perpetrators are prosecuted under the CAT Act no 22 of 1994 and brought to justice without further delay. I also request you to order a proper investigation into the alleged constant threats and intimidations against the victims’ families by the concerned Ambalangoda police officers. Effective protection should be provided to the families of the victims and necessary disciplinary/legal actions should also be taken against those responsible for the threats.

I look forward your immediate and sincere action to this case.

Yours truly,



1. Mr. K. C. Kamalasabesan 
Attorney General 
Attorney General’s Department 
Colombo 12 
Fax: +94 11 2 436421
E-mail: attorneygen@mail.ewisl.net

2. Mr. Victor Perera
Inspector General of Police 
New Secretariat 
Colombo 1
Fax: +94 11 2 440440/327877
E-mail: igp@police.lk

3. Secretary
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka 
No. 36, Kynsey Road 
Colombo 8 
Tel: +94 11 2 694 925 / 673 806 
Fax: +94 11 2 694 924 / 696 470 
E-mail: sechrc@sltnet.lk

4. Mr. Neville Piyadigama
National Police Commission
3rd Floor, Rotunda Towers
109 Galle Road
Colombo 03
Tel: +94 11 2 395310 
Fax: +94 11 2 395867
E-mail: npcgen@sltnet.lk

5. Prof. Manfred Nowak
Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture
Attn: Safir Syed
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 9230

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ahrchk@ahrchk.org)

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-047-2007
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Threats and intimidation,