Lawyers demand UN action into allegations of Colombo deploying chemical substances on POWs

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 September 2016, 23:46 GMT]
“Accusation by former LTTE cadres that they were administered with poisonous and chemical substances during rehabilitation period resulting in their being afflicted with serious physical disabilities have raised concerns as regards the accountability and justice process,” said K.S. Ratnavale and V. Puvitharan, the conveners of Tamil Lawyers Forum in an open appeal issued on Sunday to the UN Human Rights Council demanding international action. “The very nature of poisonous substance makes it difficult for medical personnel to identify or detect such substance on the mere examination of victims. It behoves the scientists with medical background and expertise and not merely medical doctors to identify the effects of injestion of external substances in the body,” the appeal coming from the TFL said.

The TLF appeal pointed out that the Northern Provincial Council has came up with a resolution passed on 25th August 2016 calling for medical investigation to be carried on the ex cadres by competent and trusted medical experts. The appeal also observed that the opposition Tamil National Alliance sailing together with the present government and the TNA leader who is also the leader of the opposition have not made any remark, leave alone taking meaningful action.

The lawyers have come with the following demands to the UN Human Rights Council:

  1. Appoint a team of scientists including medical experts of international repute and competence to examine the victims who complain of poisons chemical substance injections while in custody

  2. Request the GOSL to grant access for such team of medical experts to conduct investigation on victims in Sri Lanka.

  3. Take appropriate action on the Report that may be submitted to you by the experts’ team.


“It has been observed that several former LTTE cadres in the prime of their life are suffering from physical disabilities ranging from debilitation, impairment, permanent privation of eyes, ears and other limbs, emasculation, deliriousness and disfiguration all of which could be traced from the time they were inmates of rehabilitation or detention centers,” the appeal said.

“Several such victims have made complaints to the Zonal Task Force on National Consultation and to various entities including Members of Parliament about their mysterious illnesses and therefore this issue cannot be easily ignored or trifled with,” it further said.

“The numbers of dead among the category of ex cadres who have served time in Rehabilitation facilities stand at a high 107 within the last 4-5 years and have added weight to the seriousness of the allegation leveled against the Military and Defense establishment of Sri Lanka.”

“It is also disconcerting that many of such victims have died of cancer related illnesses.”


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