Vavuniya Pass violates fundamental right- Ilancheliyan

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 March 2001, 18:30 GMT]
The Vavuniya district judge Mr. Manickavasagam Ilancheliyan ordered Police officers in charge of the checkpoints in Eeratpaeriyakulam and the town’s railway station Friday that they should forthwith stop sending back to persons, almost exclusively Tamils, from Colombo and other parts of the island on grounds that they do not have documents demanded by them or issuing such visitors passes that limit their stay only within Vavuniya. He told the Police that they have no authority in law to issue limited temporary residence passes to persons coming to Vavuniya from Colombo and other parts of the country or to refuse them permission to enter this northern border town. The judge pointed out in his order that there is no basis in law to issue to such passes.

The judge instructed the Police to forthwith stop the practice and noted that a citizen of Sri Lanka was guaranteed the right to go to any part of the country and that it is a fundamental right established by the constitution.

The Sri Lanka Police has entry point offices at the Vavuniya Railway station (for people coming by train) and one at Eeratperiyakulam on the southern outskirts of the town (for those coming by road) where one has to obtain temporary residence passes to stay in the Vavuniya for a day or more.

The passes for temporary stay in Vavuniya town are issued only to persons who produce documents (such as the Police registration required of Tamils to stay in Colombo) that are demanded by the Police at these entry points.

He told the Police that it is illegal for them to bar people who do not bring documents demanded by them (the Police) from entering Vavuniya, as it is a violation of a person’s fundamental right of freedom of movement in any part of the country.

 

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