Exclusive use of Sinhala in Trinco Courts must stop - Lawyers

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 January 2003, 12:28 GMT]
The Trincomalee Bar Association has complained to the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (SLMM) that complaints made by Tamil speaking people in the Trincomalee are recorded only in Sinhala and the police file plaints in law courts only in Sinhala language causing immense hardships to Tamil speaking litigants and lawyers, sources in Trincomalee said.

A deputation of the Trincomalee Bar Association had brought this to the notice of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission at a discussion with its Chairman Dr.Godfrey Gunatilake and two commissioners Ms Manouri Muttetuwagama and Mr. Amir Zeinudeen toured the Trincomalee district last week.

The delegation of the Trincomalee Bar Association comprised its general secretary Mr.R.Thirukumaranathan, Mr. Abdul Sattar, Mr. P.Antony, Mr.K.Thiruchenthilnathan and Ms Subashini Chitravelu.

The delegation brought to the notice of the HRC Chairman that more than seventy percent people in Trincomalee district are Tamil speaking. Hence the implementation of Sinhala only policy in police stations and law courts in the district by the police can be considered a clear case of violation of fundamental and human rights of the majority people in the district, sources said.

HRC Chairman Dr.Godfrey Gunatilake replied that the Police in Trincomalee had told him that necessary arrangements have been made to record complaints in Tamil language also.

But officials of the Trincomalee Bar Association said the Police version is wrong. "Still complaints from Tamil people are recorded only in Sinhala in all police stations in the district. Furthermore Police file plaints in courts only in Sinhalese language."

The delegation of the Trincomalee Bar Association discussed with the HRC Chairman and other commissioners about the indefinite closure of the new market of the Trincomalee Urban Council due to the pressure of the security forces to please handful Sinhala vendors of the old market, which also belongs to the Urban Council. The new market has been constructed at a cost of seven million rupees about five years back, UC sources said.

Sinhala vendors in the old market are not paying any taxes to the urban council. In addition to this they close and open the old market according to the whims and fancies and not according to the laid down rules of the local body, sources said.

However the HRC authorities said," the new market problem should be taken at political level to find solution."

 

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