Civilians in protective custody apprehensive of future
[TamilNet, Friday, 11 January 2008, 19:02 GMT]
212 civilians in Jaffna peninsula who sought protection with Human Rights Commission (HRC) due to death threats by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops and SLA-backed paramilitaries, and placed in the protective custody of Jaffna prison, are uncertain of their future in after the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Jaffna ceasing to funtion in Jaffna, legal society sources in Jaffna said.
The relatives of the said 212 civilians in Jaffna prison have sought the assistance of Jaffna Magistrates Court and attorneys to secure the safety of the inmates.
Some of them are languishing in Jaffna prison, for more than an year, which lacks basic health facilities besides being over crowded.
The initial attempts by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe to establish a rehabilitation centre in Karainakar to shelter the civilians in protective custody have been abandoned indefinitely, the sources added.
Though Jaffna Magistrate had made many representations to the Chief Justice to expedite the establishment of the Karainakar Rehhabilitation Centre, the situation remains unchanged.
The International Media Centre too had earlier urged Sri Lanka Goverment to establish a rehabilitation centre in Karainakar.
The termination of the CFA and the absence of legal structures willing to help persons pursued by elements enjoying the tacit support of the government armed forces spell an insecure future for these civilians who had tried to escape the very elements, the relatives of the persons in protective custody said.