Thirty five under SIU, SLA detention in Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 May 2001, 15:16 GMT]
Thirty-five persons are being held in the Sri Lanka army's 21-1 brigade base and the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of the Police in Vavuniya, district court sources in the northern border town said Friday. All were taken into custody under the Emergency Regulations, they said. The detention of the thirty-five was determined when the Vavuniya district judge Mr. M. Ilancheliyan Thursday visited the two detention centres gazetted under a new Emergency Regulation. He instructed the officers in charge of the detention centres at the 21-1 brigade and the Police SIU camp to inform the Human Rights Commission of a person's detention within 48 hours of his/her arrest and to display a list of all persons in their custody at the district court every fortnight.

He told the OIC's of the detention centres at the SLA camp and the Police SIU that they should display the list without waiting for directions from the court to do so.

The judge was welcomed at the SLA camp by the 21-1 brigade commander Colonel Mahes Samaraweera. The brigade commander provided the judge with details of the persons in the camp's detention centre. The OIC of the SLA detention centre, Major R.H.V Amarasena introduced the judge to the detainees.

Judge Ilancheliyan inquired about their welfare. The judge told the officials that his visit is in accordance with new a new emergency regulation.

Nine detainees are Internally Displaced Persons arrested from the Poonthoattam and the Sithamparapuram refugee camps. Eight had been taken into custody on the seas off Mullaithivu on 20 April.

Despite a the recent promulgation of an Emergency Regulation allowing judges to visit persons held in detention centres authorised by gazette notification, judicial officers in other parts of the north and east where arrest and detention by the Sri Lankan security forces is frequent are yet to act in accordance with the rule which is expected to improve the conditions of detention.


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