Sivasubramaniam Jeevan, an Eezham Tamil youth citizen of UK living in Scotland, who was on a visit to the island of Sri Lanka on 3 October, was detained by the notorious Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Colombo from the day he landed to 9 October, and was allegedly tortured under suspicion of “LTTE links”, after taking away his passport and other documents. He was released last Tuesday after managing a payment of a sum of 1.5 million rupees, plus 325 pounds, as ransom money to the CID. Speaking to TamilNet from his residence in Scotland, 33 year old Jeevan, who is now undergoing psychological treatment owing to the trauma of interrogation, said that the CID officers tortured him by beating him, verbally abusing him, and threatening to kill him. He was also interrogated on diaspora activities in the UK, he said.
Mr. Jeevan, who is originally from Nelliyadi, Vadamaraadchi had left Sri Lanka for the UK in 2006, and had obtained a British passport in 2012. He said that he was earlier with the LTTE, but lost ties with the organization after leaving the island. He had undertaken the travel to the island with the desire to just see places, thinking that the situation would be normal after the war, he said.
Jeevan had landed at the airport in Colombo on the night of 3 October, with a return ticket booked for the 7th. On his arrival he was accosted by plainclothesmen from the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID). After taking his passport, they took him to a room and identified him by a wound on his back that he had got many years earlier in battle. They then handed him over to the CID who took him to a house in Colombo near the airport.
The CID further identified him by using a photograph that was sent to them from a collaborator in the UK.
After stripping Mr. Jeevan to only his inner garments, they applied electric shock to his wound in the back, he said. He also added that he was slapped many times and abused profanely, with threats of further torture. Apparently, a CID man had also pointed a gun at Jeevan threatening to shoot him.
The CID had also interrogated him on his involvement in fundraising activities in the diaspora, but Jeevan had denied having taking part in any.
Later, after he appealed to a police officer named Rathnayaka whether he could make a call to his friends in Europe to inform them about his detention and secure some payment. The officer then took him to the Negombo police station and took all of the 325 pounds that Jeevan was carrying.
On 5 October, a former LTTE cadre from Kilinochi was brought to the station to identify Jeevan. After this, Rathnayaka told Jeevan that there would be a need to interrogate him more. At this, Jeevan offered him an amount to secure his release.
After some dealing the Sri Lankan officers settled at an amount of 1.5 million Sri Lankan rupees. 800,000 rupees was transferred via bank and 700,000 rupees was given as cash to Rathnayaka.
In the period of his detention, he was extensively interrogated on activities in the diaspora and whether he had any links in the island. Some officers also commented that the diaspora was a big headache but that they were monitoring all activities.
The Sri Lankan officer Rathnayaka apparently told Jeevan “You were meant to die. You have escaped.”
Jeevan was later put on a flight on 09 October to UK.
Speaking to TamilNet, he repeatedly stressed on the risks to life faced by anyone with a history of association with the struggle of Eezham Tamils returning to the island.