UPDATE (SRI LANKA): Update on torture of 17-year-old boy, Chamila Bandara, by Ankumbura police 


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-31-2003
ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest & detention, Torture,

Dear Friends,

Doctors informed Chamila Bandara and his family on Aug. 19, 2003, that Chamila Bandara has lost the use of his left arm permanently. Chamila Bandara is at present being treated at the Paradeniya Teaching Hospital in Sri Lanka.

He was illegally arrested and detained from July 20 to 28, 2003, at the Ankumbura police station and was severely tortured. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) issued a detailed urgent appeal and statement regarding his case on Aug. 11, 2003.

In this statement, among other things, Chamila stated, “Then they put my hands on my back and tied my thumbs together with a string, and they put a fibre string between the thumbs and hung me on a beam on the ceiling. One officer pulled the fibre string so that I was raised from the ground. When I was raised, my hands turned, and they became numb. Then the OIC [officer in charge] kept hitting me on my legs and soles with a cricket wicket. He hit me on my thighs. While hitting me in this manner, he asked me who my friends were. Because of the extreme pain, I said, “One is Roshan Deepal, and the other is Salier.” Because of the unbearable pain, I said, “Though I did not do any thefts, I am willing to admit to anything.” Then I requested that the police bring me down and untie me.

The OIC said, “That won¡¦t do till you tell us about all the thefts you have done – one by one. We will keep you hanging. We will tie a stone on your legs.”

In the earlier case of Gresha de Silva of Galle where Gresha was hung in a similar manner, Prof. Nereealla made a similar finding to the effect that Gresha had lost the use of both arms; and in the similar case of Gerald Perera, who was awarded 800,000 rupees (US$9,555) in compensation by the Supreme Court, the medical reports revealed serious injuries to both arms.

Your urgent action is required to correct this matter.


1 Chandrika B. Kumaritunga
Presidential Residence, Colombo 3,
Fax: +941 333 703

2 Hon. Mr. K. C. Kamalasabesan
Attorney General
Attorney General’s Department
Colombo 12
Fax: +94 1 436 421
Email: attorney@sri.lanka.net or counsel@sri.lanka.net

3 Mr. Ranjith Abeysuriya PC
Chairman National Police Commission
69-1 Ward Place, Colombo 7
Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 1 691 926
Fax HOME: +94-1-674-148

4 National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
No. 36, Kynsey Road, Colombo 8
Tel: +94 1 694 925 / 673 806
Fax: +94 1 694 924
E-mail: sechrc@sltnet.lk

5 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, Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917-9016
E-mail: secrt.hchr@unog.ch

and at:

International Relations
Maastricht University
The Netherlands
Tel. 31-43-3883233 (Assistant: Chantal Kuipers)
Email : th.vanboven@ir.unimaas.nl

6 Mr. Jean Nicolas Beuze
Room 3-052
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Palais Wilson,

Rue des Paquis 52, Geneva
tel: 41 229179174
fax: 41 22 9179 006
email: jnbeuze.hchr@unog.ch

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


Dear Sir:

Case of B. G. Chamila Bandara Jayaratne (17 years old)

Brutal torture of a 17-year-old and others causing permanent injuries; illegal arrest; illegal detention for eight days by the ANKUMBURA police

I am writing to protest against the brutal torture of a young person. The case is only one more addition to a cruel practice that is being allowed to go on in police stations throughout Sri Lanka. I urge you to investigate, arrest and prosecute the offenders. Please issue special instructions for arrests, particularly for children. We strongly urge you to discipline the police so that they desist from torture, from the fabrication of cases and from registering false cases.

I also urge the Sri Lankan government to provide medical assistance to this young person so that he may have treatment for the permanent injury caused to his left arm as a result of being hung up by his thumbs and tortured.

Please take some immediate and genuine steps to stop torture!

Yours faithfully,


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission
Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-31-2003
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Arbitrary arrest & detention, Torture,