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Sri Lanka faces yet another rights abuse allegation

[Hindu, Thursday, 12 April 2012 07:20 One Comment]

Two senior members of a breakaway faction of the JVP who vanished on April 6 and reappeared a few days later have accused the security forces of abducting them.

One of them, Dimuthu Attygalle, held a press conference to announce that she was abducted by the security forces, while the other, Premkumar Gunaratnam, who was deported to Australia, made the claim after he landed in that country.

Premkumar, who has killed Indian soldiers of the IPKF, and Ms. Attygalle, vanished a few days before the inauguration of the Frontline Socialist Party, which both were deeply involved in building. Premkumar was mysteriously released and, since he had an Australian citizenship and was overstaying his visa, the police immediately picked him up, questioned and then deported him. Ms. Attygalle was dropped off at a different location and she got in touch with her party organisers and spoke up.

At the press conference, Ms. Attygalle said her abductors told her that the government was not involved but used terminology that cannot be forgotten by security personnel — for instance, they were referring to someone as “sir”, she said.

Once he reached Australia, Premkumar said were it not for Canberra’s intervention he would have faced certain death. “He said that he was handcuffed, blindfolded and physically and sexually tortured during his three-day detention,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported. : “I can confirm I was abducted by the Sri Lankan government forces, blindfolded and tortured. This includes, I am embarrassed to say, sexual torture,” the paper quoted Mr. Gunaratnam as saying.

“He says about 15 government security personnel stormed into his house in Colombo around 4:30 am on Friday,” ABC.Net reported. “The 42-year-old, who holds dual citizenship in Australia and Sri Lanka, claims he was held for about four days and moved around to different army bases around the capital,” the website added.

The Sri Lankan government has denied any role in the kidnapping.

Both the media, however, refused to question the role of the Australian government in the episode. Australia has refused to answer questions relating to Premkumar’s name changes, his travel under an assumed passport, his entereing Australia in the first instance and, according to Sri Lanka’s Island newspaper, how the Australian High Commission in Colombo had his original passport when Premkumar had claimed that he had lost it.

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One Comment »

  • Ramiah Subramaniyam said:

    ajapaksa is supporting the brutal Paramilitary Forces by Karuna, Douglas D, Pillayan extort money by “white van” abductions from the already impoverished Tamil Businessmen to wipe them out. The Genocide continues. First Rajapaksas destroyed Tamil people in the war , now Rajapaksas are destroying Tamil businessmen to wipe out them out.
    White van “disappearances for ransom” is overtly a racket milking Tamil cash cows there is also a hidden aspect. In July 1983 organized mobs consisting mainly of Sinhala – speaking hoodlums looted and destroyed Tamil businesses. Despite that blow the resilient Tamil people have bounced back and have carved out their niche once again in Sri Lankan commerce. What is happening now is another “silent” July 1983. The business concerns are not physically destroyed but Tamil businessmen are being systematically wiped out. Tamil owned or controlled commerce is rapidly eroding. The “enforced disappearances” of most affluent Tamils are not political or related to counter – terrorist procedures. These are nothing but extortion related abductions. It is now an industry. The actual number of incidents are not reported to the Police or even organizations like the Civil Monitoring Commission. Many people negotiate on their own and get their loved ones released through paying a reduced sum. They later keep silent. In many cases the ransom paid is so great that continuing with business becomes impossible. Some are forced to sell off property to collect ransom money. Also some who get released feel so insecure that they transfer their businesses to someone else and leave the country. There are also many businessmen who have run off to India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Middle – East and Western nations to escape being victimised.
    The irony is that this slow strangulation is not being done by Sinhala mobs but by main three Pro-Rajapaksa Paramilitary Groups:1. Karuna, 2.Pillayan, 3.Douglas D. The actual abductions are generally done by the Karuna or Douglas D group or in a few cases by both. There is close collaboration by sections of the Police and armed forces and intelligence personnell. Some top “security” guy is usually at hand to help out if something goes wrong. It is also believed that a percentage of the ill – gained loot is given to these sections. In some instances the Tamil groups pay “bribes” to get things done. There is corruption or collaboration by the Police or Armed forces in this sordid activity. What is frightening about this racket is suspected connivance and condonement at very high levels. At least one cabinet minister has demanded and received money for the release of abducted persons. There are also instances of the families and relatives of abducted persons obtaining their releases through contacts at very, very high levels of Government. It is said that the only sure guarantee of getting one released is to gain the sympathy of family members of a Rajapaksa political dynasty. http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/5508