Wife asks officials to produce missing husband

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 February 2001, 19:17 GMT]
The Eastern High Court Judge has ordered the respondents to a Habeas Corpus application to submit their objections to the application by March 27. The application was filed by a young mother desiring to know the whereabouts of her husband, Vairamuthtu Jayakili of Salli, who was arrested by Sri Lanka Navy personnel on 25 February last year. Mr.A.N.Ramachandran, Eastern High Court Judge presiding over Trincomalee sessions made the above order on Thursday when the application was taken up for further inquiry. Salli is a fishing hamlet in Trincomalee district.

The respondents in named in the application are the Officer in charge of the Nilaveli Navy Detachment, the Commodore of the Sri Lanka Navy, the Headquarters' Inspector of Police, the Secretary of Ministry of Defense and the Attorney General.

In her application Mrs Pushparatha Jeyakili stated that her husband was arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy personnel on or about 25 February last year when he, along two other Tamil fishermen were engaged in fishing in sea close the Pigeon Island, Salli. She further stated that the two people who accompanied her husband were released a few weeks later, but her husband's whereabouts were still unknown.

In her Habeas Corpus application she has requested the Eastern High Court to direct the respondents to produce her husband in court. However, relatives of Vairamuthu Jeyakili are of opinion that he had been killed whilst in the custody of the SLN personnel at Nilaveli navy camp.

Further hearing in this case was put off for March 27.

Attorney-at-Law K.Sivapalan instructed by Attorney R.N.Varathan appeared for the petitioner. Attorney-at-Law M.A.M.Salihu represented the first respondent. Attorney-at-Law Ananda Weerasinghe instructed by Attorney O.L.M.Ismail appeared for the second respondent. State Counsel R.Kannan appeared for all other respondents.

In the meantime, reliable sources told TamilNet that the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Sri Lanka has initiated an inquiry into the missing fisherman. One of the two Tamil fishermen who accompanied the missing Vairamuthu Jeyakili and was later released has submitted an affidavit to the HRC regarding this incident, sources said.

Twenty-one year old Navaratnam Mohanraj, a resident of Salli, stated in his affidavit that on the day of incident (February 24,2000) he went fishing along with Jeyakili and Pathmaseelan. Prior to going fishing, all three had gone to Salli Police Sentry and registered their names, stating that they were going to sea.

On February 25 a group of Sri Lanka Navy personnel arrived at Pigeon Island where they resting and took them into custody. Later they were taken to Nilaveli Navy detachment where they were assaulted. When they were taken to Trincomalee Police in a jeep he did not see Jeyakili there, stated Navaretnam Mohanraj in the affidavit he submitted to the HRC.


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