Eight SLA officers may be investigated in Habeas Corpus case

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 July 2003, 16:49 GMT]
The Appeals court of Sri Lanka has ordered the District court of Vavuniya to investigate the eight Sri Lankan military officers in connection with the Habeas Corpus application of a Puthukudiyiruppu villager arrested on August 25, 1995 and still languishing in jail, and submit a report to the Appeals court, sources said.

On that date, the SLA had fired at a group of fishermen engaged in fishing at the Vadduvakal sea, and Mr. Sathasivam Sivarasa of Puthukudiyiruppu, in Mullaitivu, was wounded, who pretended to be dead to save his life, and the SLA had then arrested the villager, while all other fishermen escaped, sources said.

Ms. Iruthayamalar Mariathas of Puthukudiyiruppu made the Habeas Corpus application at the Appeals Court in Colombo, saying the villager under detention was her brother, Mr. Mariathas, based on information she collected from Sri Lankan TV, Press and Radio reports and from Mr. Sivarasa, who had managed to escape and obtain surgery at the Mullaitivu and Jaffna hospitals.

The Sri Lankan media had reported that the SLA had arrested a militant and shot dead another.

In her petition, Ms.Mariathas stated that while Mr. Mariathas was being detained at the Mullaitivu SLA camp, 8 SLA officers in charge of the military operations in Mullaitivu, including the current SLA commander, General Lionel Ballagalle, who was then the commander of the Sri Lankan forces based in Vavuniya, were responsible for his arrest and detention.

The Appeals court judges who heard the case, Justice Shirani Thilakaratne and Justice Wijeratne, ordered that the inquiry should be held by the Vavuniya district court as it had the jurisdiction to investigate the military officers, legal sources said.

 

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