30 June, 2022


Sri Lanka ‘Must Seek’ UN Help Over Deadly Prison Violence

By Charles Haviland

Human rights activists in Sri Lanka say the government must seek UN help in investigating serious violence in jails which has resulted in the deaths of two Tamil prisoners.

Vavuniya prison attack| File Photo

The second inmate died last week after more than a month in a coma. Activists blame the deaths on the government.

But officials deny responsibility.

The violence in late June started when about 30 prisoners suspected of links with Tamil Tiger rebels took three guards hostage.

The ensuing siege lasted for 19 hours before it was broken.

Civil rights activists say the inmates were then assaulted by prison authorities both before and after their transfers to other jails.

One prisoner, Ganesan Nimalaruban, died a few days later while another, Mariadas Dilrukshan, succumbed to his injuries after several weeks in a coma.

‘Brutal’ treatment

A group of 28 human rights activists have now issued a statement blaming the government for his death, which they say was caused by torture.

“We, the civil society, have lost confidence in domestic mechanisms in being able to deal with such situations,” they write.

They call on the government to appoint an inquiry commission under the control of the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The BBC was unable to reach the head of Sri Lanka’s prison service for comment. A police spokesman declined to react, saying a post-mortem on Mr Dilrukshan was pending.

The government said earlier that Mr Nimalaruban died from a heart attack.

Opposition activists have demonstrated in the northern city of Jaffna, where Mr Dilrukshan’s funeral took place on Saturday.

They shouted slogans such as “Don’t kill Tamils!” and “Arrest the killers of political prisoners!”

Reports say that until Mr Dilrukshan was seriously injured in June, his parents had had no clue as to his whereabouts since his arrest several years earlier.

Tamil lawmaker V Anandasangaree described the treatment of the prisoners as “very brutal and far beyond justification”.

Media coverage of the episodes has highlighted Sri Lanka’s ethnic faultlines.

Sinhala-language media have tended to describe the prisoners as “terrorists”, while Tamil-language outlets have termed them “political prisoners”.

Source – BBC

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Have these Tamil prisoners given the opportunity to answer to the charges, given their day in court, and why are their families unaware of their whereabouts? The judicial system in the country seems to be broken, and no one seems to be looking after the rights of people, especially from the minority, and overlooking the questionable practices of the justice system, if there is one.

    • 0

      hand over the prisoners to guantanamo bay detention camp.

      • 0

        wants to :

        “hand over the prisoners to guantanamo bay detention camp”

        It is very good idea.

        Sri Lanka has waste experience in torture and a history of war committing crime and crime against humanity. As such Sri Lanka could play a complementary role in the fight against global terorism.

        Why not handing over Sri Lanka to USA?

  • 0

    There is no law anymore in SL. The rogue Rajapaksha government has no real people’s mandate to rule the country and therefore they are destroying every democratic institution and system to establish a full-fledged autocracy where law and democracy do not exist. If free and fair elections are to be held in SL the government will definitely lose and if they get defeated they will have to face law and answer the charges and would definitely be imprisoned if not hanged. This is what they are afraid of and want to prevent happening at whatever cost. The international community if they are really serious must intervene and enforce compliance on the government with the accepted norms, conduct and law and order in the country, otherwise IC and UN will lose credibility and relevance. The lowest cost method to defeat this type of governments is to setting up and implementation of a robust and foolproof internationally mediated election monitoring system because it is through fake and rigged elections that they continue to grab power to carry on their destructive and despotic rule which is responsible for all the problems in the world because they are only preoccupied with securing power and not doing anything to promote sustainable existence on earth.

  • 0

    Haviland sounds as if he has decended from the moon yesterday. These are prison rioter who took the guards hostage and converted the vavuniya prison a vitual LTTE cell. The Army and the STF had to be deployed to break the siege. It is fortunate that it ended with just two deaths. Is south American prisons for instance such riots end up with thiry or forty prisoner deaths. Haviland and his baba hukung!

    • 0


      Decended from moon or mars, the truth must be told. Did You imagine this thing happens to you,
      We think that, you are another A##L liker of M R And Ruling Family.
      This is Not South America.This is Mahinda Chinthana Wonder Of Asia.

      With power, Arms and ammunition, any vulture can kill 1000 of unarmed men.
      is that heroism.
      you idiots not remember the LTTE KILLED our prisoner soldiers.
      that is not the world order.
      that is why, they got bumped off
      We are not terorists, they are not hosteges.
      they were prisoners of war or suspects..
      dont show BABA HUKUNG TO US.


    • 0

      Hay, NAK fucker, ask Paba about the thrill of b(p)aba huking because MARA and NARA did that thing with Paba Huking! Stupid pimp who supply prostitutes to MARA!!!

  • 0

    NAK, This is the way stenching butt sniffers of rogue raja respond to HR violations and torture allegations. This is the typical response and exactly the same explanation issued by the government on this cooked up scenario! LTTE prisoners had actually engaged in a peaceful demonstration. Even a prisoner has rights. There is a law in the land although this despot MR pays no regard to them. Prisoners’ demand was to have the law implemented. What did this rogue MR and his goons did to these peaceful demonstrators? They invented a false story of a prison riot and smashed the prisoners! This is blatant violation of human rights and irresponsibility and callousness on the part of the government in discharging its duties and obligations. Except the butt-fucked pimps like NAK the whole world know what really transpired at the prison. The brainless barbarics of the government clubbed the helpless prisoners to death! Proof? Why no inquests impartial? Why the bodies were not shown to HR activists, relatives, politicians or anyone for several days? These motherfuckers mess up with everything they touch-from nursery to AL and University, from the poor village farmer’s issue to the power generation issue, from the tiny mosquito to the jungle elephant etc. they have bungled everything on this land. And we have fifty centers like NAK to write some bullshit explanation to justify the rogue government’s rogue actions and policies. Rape is now a government policy, theft and plundering is a government policy, bribing is a government policy, HR violations and torture and extrajudicial killings is a government policy, the whole corruption cycle is a government policy. Moronic comments of buffalos like NAK notwithstanding, truth cannot be suppressed nor can the culprits ever escape from the sword of justice when the day of reckoning dawns. A peoples’ government where justice is upheld is long overdue and in the offing now. The international community and the UN must feel the pinch of conscience and must move to act without delay. The cry of the ordinary man in SL is a new democratic government which will implement reconciliation, accountability and co-existence. Let the canines like NAK bark, we will do our duty!

  • 0

    Sri Lanka must seek UN Help…. Haviland.

    No a bad suggestion. UN should stand guard in prisons.
    BKM can be appointed the prison commissioner.

  • 0

    These terrorists are very lucky GOSL is so much more humane that the LTTE was to its prisoners (the VERY few that were not summarily executed that is to say).

    Who started the hostage taking again? This is like blaming the US for the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

    That said, certainly prisoners, even terrorists, do have the right to be free from brutality by their warders. If such instances are proven, the culpable parties should be punished. But these two deaths are NOT such a case at all; these deaths are 100% the responsibility of the terrorists who started the uprising.

    • 0

      American Lanka Lover

      is at it again:

      “These terrorists are very lucky GOSL is so much more humane that the LTTE was to its prisoners”

      How would you measure kindness, mercy, or compassion?

      How would you campare Sri Lanka and LTTE in this respect?

      Can you cite any studies which uphold your position?

      Are you saying Sri Lankan armed forces torture and killing are/were far better than the LTTE’s torture and killing?

  • 0

    i think the time has come to stop this. it is not correct to turn a blind eye on such heneous crime committed by the rajapakse govt.so many tamils were killed innocently during the nullivaikal seie.

    please i humbly request to intervene.why the whole wrld is silent why why why why are we not a decent humble race.

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