Tamil Diplomat

Rights groups in Sri Lanka ask government to review Tamil activist’s detention

Two non-governmental organizations in Sri Lanka have urged the Sri Lankan government to review the continued detention of a Tamil activist arrested last year.The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) and Center for Human Rights and Research (CHR) urged the government to either file charges or release Balendran Jeyakumari who had been detained for almost one year.

The police on March 13, 2014 arrested Jeyakumari, a widow and her 13-year-old daughter, for allegedly sheltering an LTTE cadre who shot a police inspector in Kilinochchi during an arrest. Her daughter was handed over to Child Protection Services while the mother was sent to Boossa detention camp.The mother and daughter were reportedly active participants in most protests conducted by families of the disappeared in the Northern Province.

Jeyakumari lost two of her three sons, reportedly belong to LTTE, in the war and her third son conscripted by the LTTE as a child soldier was reportedly missing after he surrendered to the security forces.Jeyakumari was presented in court Friday and when she was presented to court last time, on February 24, she was remanded till March 10.The NGOs says that for almost a year the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) has not charged her and have continuously stated that their investigations have not concluded.

“CaFFE and CHR believes that the police should either file charges against her or release her immediately. Given that the new government does not seem to be interested in controlling people by creating a fear psychosis among the people and that the TID is now under the CID, we hope that the ordeal of Jeyakumari and her daughter will end,” the NGOs said.