Corporal Rajapakse launches hunger strike in Jaffna prison

[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 August 2004, 16:33 GMT]
Corporal Rajapakse of the Sri Lanka Army who was sentenced to death in the Krishanthy rape and murder case launched a hunger strike in Jaffna prison demanding that he should be transfered to Welikada jail. His hunger strike entered third day Sunday, prison sources said.

Corporal Rajapakse who has been cited as the first respondent in about seven habeas Corpus (HC) applications filed by relatives of Tamil civilians who have been reported missing after being arrested by Sri Lankan government troops during the period between 1996 and 1997 in the Jaffna peninsula.

He also volunteered to make a statement in the court revealing the names of SLA officials who were responsible for these arrests.

Corporal Rajapakse was brought from Colombo by special aircraft when the HC applications related to him were taken up for inquiry in the Jaffna High Court last week. Jaffna HC Judge Mr.K.P.S.Varatharajah earlier ordered remand for Corporal Rajapakse in Jaffna prison till the next date of inquiry, legal sources said.

Later the Jaffna High Court allowed prison authorities to take back Corporal Rajapakse to Welikada jail in Colombo enabling him to retain the services of a lawyer for the next date of inquiry, 30 August, as members of the Jaffna Bar Association refused to appear for him, the sources said.

Corporal Rajapakse launched his hunger strike Friday when the Defense Ministry failed to give necessary instruction to the authorities concerned to airlift him back to Welikada jail, prison sources said.

 

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