Tamil detainees said mistreated in Kalutara
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 August 2001, 21:47 GMT]
The Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) has protested to the Department of Prisons about “the inhuman treatment meted out to Tamil prisoners in Kalutara prison by prison authorities”. Mr.A.Selvam Adaikalanathan, Vanni district Parliamentarian and leader of the TELO stated in a letter to the Commissioner of Prisons that “fifty Tamil prisoners are locked up in a ward of 20 feet by 40 feet while 23 Sinhala prisoners are kept in a ward which could accommodate more than hundred persons. This act clearly indicates the discrimination meted out to Tamil prisoners at Kalutara prisons by the authorities concerned.”
The letter with copies to the Chairman of the Presidential Committee for Unlawful Arrests, The International Committee of Red cross, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence further states:
“The sports equipments provided by the ICRC to the Tamil prisoners have been removed by the prison authorities. Soaps, toothpastes and plastic buckets and other items have also been removed from them. Even medicines are not provided to these prisoners. Flowerpots in front of wards where Tamil prisoners are kept have been destroyed to prevent them from offering flowers during prayers.
“Tamil prisoners when being brought to Anuradhapura courts are not allowed to urinate during their 10 to 12 hour travelling by prison vehicle. At Anuradhapura the Tamil prisoners are given bread and sambol for lunch and rice without curry for dinner.
“Parents and relatives of these prisoners feel that this type of treatment is meted out by communal minded prison officials who are determined to make Tamil prisoners mentally deranged.”