Colombo Telegraph

Sri Lanka’s 75-Year-Old Rape Victim And Her Family Seek Justice

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a 75-year-old was raped and the officers of the Thalathuoya police are protecting the perpetrator who, allegedly, has been involved in a prior case. SV (75), a resident of
Kirimatiya Estate, Nugaliyadda, Thalathuoya in the Kandy District was alone in her house when the assailant entered through a window, assaulted and raped her. SV and her family reported the matter to the Thalathuoya Police Station but discovered that the officers of that station are shielding the culprit and instead, allowing him to threaten the victim and her family members.

This case is yet another illustration of the exceptional collapse of the rule of law in the country.

CASE NARRATIVE:

VR have since learned that the suspect used to
work at the houses of the police officers and helped them in their
personal matters. / File photo

According to the information received, SV (75) is residing at No ************ Thalathuoya in the Kandy District. VR, a grandmother of 75 years of age, was living alone as her five married children, three sons and two daughters, moved to Colombo. Her husband, ******, died five years ago. VR worked in an estate which was later converted to a farm by the Elephant House Group of Companies.

She was living in the Estate’s Line Room by herself and her grandsons used to provide food for her. On 26 September, 2013, at 11.30 pm a person entered her premises through a window and when VR saw a light on in the room she went to investigate. Her assailant silenced her by placing his hand over her mouth. VR identified the suspect as Arumugam Ganeshan who was also living in the same area.

VR fought with the man vigorously. She was able to bruise his face until he overpowered the old lady and raped her. When VR shouted for help the neighbors responded but Ganeshan was able to flee the scene of the crime. Geethanjali, one of VR’s grand-daughters found her lying on the floor with several wounds and with the help of the neighbours she was taken to another house.

The following day, 27 September, one of her daughters, returned home and took VR to the Thalathuoya Police Station (Kandy Police Senior Superintendent of Police’s Division) and made a complaint.

VR was then admitted to the Thalathupoya Government Hospital on the same day and was treated until 3 October, 2013. However due to her poor health she was re-admitted to the Thalathuoya Hospital on the 6 of October and was transferred to the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital on 7 October for further treatment and discharged on 10 October. VR was speechless for many days and suffering with a spinal injury.

Arumugam Ganeshan was arrested by the Thalathuoya Police and produced before the Magistrate of Kandy but was released soon after. On 30 September the accused threatened the family of VR. In particular he threatened *******, one of the daughters of VR, with death if
they proceed with the case. The accused previously raped another old woman by the name of Thaiamma living in the same area. He was arrested and the police officers settled the matter without producing him in court.

The accused complained to the police, saying that he was threatened by VR’s family who, in turn, state that the complaint is baseless and aimed at misleading the police investigation. However, when the family members approached the police to make a complaint about the threats made by the accused, the officers did not allow them to proceed and refused to record their complaint. It is now apparent that the police officers are acting on the complaint made by the accused after the incident but not the complaint made by the victim.

The relatives of VR have since learned that the suspect used to work at the houses of the police officers and helped them in their personal matters. Amongst other jobs he paints the houses of the police officers and therefore it has become evident that they are
protecting him.

Further, the relatives learned that the investigating police officers who recorded the statements of the doctors who treated the victim intentionally did not record the necessary findings of the doctor in relation to the act of rape. The officers intentionally failed in their official duties to investigate and submit the necessary evidence to the court for a successful adjudication process. Hence the victim and her family feel that this is a blatant violation of her rights.

As the police did not investigate the complaint of threats VR and her family are in fear of their lives.

VR and her family are pleading for protection for themselves and their children. Furthermore, they are seeking speedy justice as this alone will alleviate the threat and danger to the old woman and her family.

Action

Please send a letter to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case and requesting an immediate investigation into the case rape and the witness protection. The criminal as well as the police officers who are having lethargic approach to investigate the crimes must also be tried before a court of law for breaching the laws of the country and also should be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of the department orders as issued by the police department.

Please note that the AHRC has also written a separate letter to the Special Rapporteur on violence against women on this regard.

To support this appeal please click here

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. N K Illangakoon

Inspector General of Police

New Secretariat

Colombo 1

SRI LANKA

Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877

E-mail: igp@police.lk

2. Mr. Sarath Palith Fernando

Attorney General

Attorney General’s Department

Colombo 12

SRI LANKA

Fax: +94 11 2 436421

E-mail: ag@attorneygeneral.gov.lk

3. Secretary

National Police Commission

3rd Floor, Rotunda Towers

109 Galle Road

Colombo 03

SRI LANKA

Tel: +94 11 2 395310

Fax: +94 11 2 395867

E-mail: npcgen@sltnet.lk or polcom@sltnet.lk

4. Secretary

Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission

No: 165 Kynsey Road,

Borella, Colombo 8.

SRI LANKA

Fax: +94 11 2694924

Email: sechrc@sltnet.lk

Thank you.

Asian Human Rights Commission

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