Peradeniya Tamil undergrads agitate for release of student

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 August 2008, 10:29 GMT]
Tamil students of the Arts Faculty of the Peradeniya University Friday handed over a memorandum to the Vice-chancellor requesting him to take immediate steps to release K. Umanath, a final year student, from police custody, enabling him to sit for his final examination scheduled to be held in three months, sources in Peredeniya said. Umanath is still being detained in Davulugala police station in Kandy district.

Tamil students informed the university administration that they have submitted the memorandum separately because the University Students Association has failed to show any interest in support of the Tamil suspect-student as its administration is dominated by Sinhala students, the sources said.

The memorandum states that Umanath, a resident of Aalangkeani in Ki’n’niyaa division in Trincomalee district, was taken into custody suspected of involvement in terrorist activity, three weeks ago.

The parents of Umanath who are in Kandy attempting to obtain the release of their son, say their son is not involved in any criminal activity.

Police officier in charge at the Police station has directed all visitors to speak to Umanath only in Sinhala or English, informed sources said.

Visitors who talked to Umanath allege that he has not been provided with basic facilities in the police station.

The university administration earlier said that it could not intervene in this matter as the suspect is detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

Meanwhile, Deputy Vice-chancellor, Professor Anura Wickremasinghe, is reported to have told the group of Tamil students police had told him that the suspect would be produced in court shortly, and thereafter he could be released on bail.


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