15 December, 2018

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Tamil Disappearances Activist Jeyakumari Illegally Detained And Held Without Charge – AHRC

Balendran Jeyakumari and her daughter have been detained and held without charges by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lanka Police, says the Asian Human Rights Commission.

Issuing a special appeal the Asian Human Rights Commission says it believes that Jayakumary’s life is in danger.

We publish below the appeal in full;

 

A VERY SPECIAL APPEAL

20 March, 2014
——————————————————————————————————–
WORLD/SRI LANKA: A human rights defender illegally detained and held without charge

ISSUES: illegal arrest; detention; justice; impunity; rule of law; human rights defenders
——————————————————————————————————–

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Ms. Balendran Jayakumari and her daughter Vithushaini (13) both were arrested on 13 March 2014, by officers attached to the Kilinochchi Police Station. Jayakumari has been active in the search of disappeared persons, including members of her own family for several years. She has incontrovertible proof that her son was in the detention of the army but all attempts to learn of his whereabouts or obtain his release have been ignored by the government. It is believed that her arrest is due to the evidence that she holds over the government.

Although it is reported that Vithushaini has been released Jayakumari remains in detention.

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

CASE NARRATIVE:

According to the information received by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Ms. Balendran Jayakumari and her daughter Vithushaini (13) both were arrested on 13 March 2014, by officers attached to the Kilinochchi Police Station. Although it is reported that Vithushaini has been released Jayakumari remains in detention.

Balendran Jayakumari of No: 5 Musalumpitty, Pullium Pokkanai, Tharmapurum, Killinochchi District was living in the Indian Housing Scheme of Tharmapurum with her daughter Vithushaini who is 13 years of age. Her husband disappeared during the armed conflict in Sri Lanka between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the government. After she became a victim of rights violations herself, she became a human rights activist and started a campaign in search of the whereabouts of her husband. Later she joined several other human rights activists in the area and assisted them in seeking justice for their own disappeared loved ones. She immerged as one of the leading human rights activists in the Northern Province among thousands of widows and children who lost their husbands, fathers and loving ones during the conflict. She has taken part in many protests where she was identified as a leading figure by the society, and unfortunately, by the government authorities.

Jayakumari and her daughter have been in the frontline of almost all the protests and they were clearly identified by the media telecasts as activists, protesting and demanding information on the whereabouts of missing persons who have been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lanka Police.

Jayakumari is a mother of three boys (two of them were killed and one remains missing) and one girl. Both the mother and daughter have attended many protests organised by the Mannar Citizen’s Committee and families that are looking for missing and disappeared members. One of Jayakumari’s sons was killed in Trincomalee, the second one died in a shell attack in Mullivaikal. She handed over her third son, Balendran Mahinthan, to the Sri Lanka Army in May 2009 and at that time he was 15 years old; since then his whereabouts also unknown.

She and her daughter have been featured in many video documentaries on disappeared including that of ‘Channel 4’ that was released in November 2013. Beside Jayakumari has been a leader in the mobilization of the families in Killinochchi for various hearings, public protests and meetings. She has met many visiting UN officials, foreign diplomats who visited the Northern Province and media persons both national and international.

One of the widely touted government publications, ‘The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’ (LLRC) carried his photo as being among the rehabilitated detainees. Jayakumari has used this as irrefutable evidence that she handed over her son to Sri Lanka Army. She further stated that the Sri Lankan authorities should be responsible for his disappearance as he disappeared while he was in the custody of government authorities. She has vehemently and relentlessly demanded the government authorities to return her son.

On 13 March 2014 a large number of military and police personnel surrounded her house. Both Jayakumari and her daughter Vithushaini were detained in their home from 4 pm until around 10 pm on the 13 March 2014. She was not given any reason for her arrest or detention. After that she was brought to the Kilinochchi Police Compound.

Later it was announced by the Sri Lankan Police Authorities that they were detained by the officers attached to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID).

Jayakumari called to a regional politician around 4 pm on 13 March 2014 and complained that her house has been surrounded by the army and sought protection for her life and that of her child. Then around 4.30 pm one of Jayakumari’s friend called her (who is also an activist and looking for her missing child), and Jayakumari answered the phone saying that she was at home but there were problems. Then her phone was taken by an officer who asked her friend for her identity and why she was calling. Her friend replied that her child was sick and she was at the Vavuniya General Hospital and needed Jayakumari’s help whereupon the officer cut the call and thereafter Jayakumari’s phone was switched off. Since then there has been no communication with her.

After she was detained she was brought to Vavunia Police Compound and the police announced that it was for further investigation.

Police spokesperson, Ajith Rohana stated to BBC Tamil Service that, on the 13 November night, a shooting incident took place in Tharmapurum on 13 November, mornings and the suspect has escaped. They identified a house where the suspect has been hiding and because of that, two women have been investigated. He also stated one of their police officers had been injured in the shooting incident.

Jayakumari is still been detained without any charge. She is afraid for her life as she possesses tangible evidence against the Sri Lankan Armed Forces for rights violations, especially in relation to the disappearance of her husband, the killing of her two sons and the disappearance of the third.

The Asian Human Rights Commission believes that Jayakumary’s life is in danger as the United Nations Human Rights Council is about to take a resolution asking the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights to initiate a mechanism and report back to the UNHRC on war crimes which happened during the conflict in Sri Lanka. Jayakumari seeks justice and the protection for her life and that of her only remaining child and seeks the rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please send a letter to the authorities expressing your concern about this case and requesting an immediate investigation into the allegations of the innocent women who are human rights defenders and victims of violence by the police officers who denied her of justice and an independent inquiry. Please request the authorities to prosecute those proven to be responsible under the criminal law of the country for misusing powers of a state. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of the department orders as issued by the police department. Further, please also request the NPC and the IGP to have a special investigation into the malpractices of the police officers for abusing the state officers’ powers.

Please note that the AHRC has also written a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders on this regard.

To support this appeal, please click here:  

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: A human rights defender illegally detained and held without charge

Name of the victim: Ms. Balendran Jayakumari of No: 5 Musalumpitty, Pullium Pokkanai, Tharmapurum, Killinochchi District
Alleged perpetrators: Police officers attached to the TID of Sri Lanka Police
Date of incident: 13 March 2014
Place of incident: Kilinochchi District

I am writing to express my serious concern over the case of Ms. Balendran Jayakumari and her daughter Vithushaini (13). Both were arrested on 13 March 2014, by officers attached to the Kilinochchi Police Station. Although it is reported that Vithushaini has been released Jayakumari remains in detention.

Balendran Jayakumari of No: 5 Musalumpitty, Pullium Pokkanai, Tharmapurum, Killinochchi District was living in the Indian Housing Scheme of Tharmapurum with her daughter Vithushaini who is 13 years of age. Her husband disappeared during the armed conflict in Sri Lanka between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the government. After she became a victim of rights violations herself, she became a human rights activist and started a campaign in search of the whereabouts of her husband. Later she joined several other human rights activists in the area and assisted them in seeking justice for their own disappeared loved ones. She immerged as one of the leading human rights activists in the Northern Province among thousands of widows and children who lost their husbands, fathers and loving ones during the conflict. She has taken part in many protests where she was identified as a leading figure by the society, and unfortunately, by the government authorities.

Jayakumari and her daughter have been in the frontline of almost all the protests and they were clearly identified by the media telecasts as activists, protesting and demanding information on the whereabouts of missing persons who have been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lanka Police.

Jayakumari is a mother of three boys (two of them were killed and one remains missing) and one girl. Both the mother and daughter have attended many protests organised by the Mannar Citizen’s Committee and families that are looking for missing and disappeared members. One of Jayakumari’s sons was killed in Trincomalee, the second one died in a shell attack in Mullivaikal. She handed over her third son, Balendran Mahinthan, to the Sri Lanka Army in May 2009 and at that time he was 15 years old; since then his whereabouts also unknown.

She and her daughter have been featured in many video documentaries on disappeared including that of ‘Channel 4’ that was released in November 2013. Beside Jayakumari has been a leader in the mobilization of the families in Killinochchi for various hearings, public protests and meetings. She has met many visiting UN officials, foreign diplomats who visited the Northern Province and media persons both national and international.

One of the widely touted government publications, ‘The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’ (LLRC) carried his photo as being among the rehabilitated detainees. Jayakumari has used this as irrefutable evidence that she handed over her son to Sri Lanka Army. She further stated that the Sri Lankan authorities should be responsible for his disappearance as he disappeared while he was in the custody of government authorities. She has vehemently and relentlessly demanded the government authorities to return her son.

On 13 March 2014 a large number of military and police personnel surrounded her house. Both Jayakumari and her daughter Vithushaini were detained in their home from 4 pm until around 10 pm on the 13 March 2014. She was not given any reason for her arrest or detention. After that she was brought to the Kilinochchi Police Compound.

Later it was announced by the Sri Lankan Police Authorities that they were detained by the officers attached to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID).

Jayakumari called to a regional politician around 4 pm on 13 March 2014 and complained that her house has been surrounded by the army and sought protection for her life and that of her child. Then around 4.30 pm one of Jayakumari’s friend called her (who is also an activist and looking for her missing child), and Jayakumari answered the phone saying that she was at home but there were problems. Then her phone was taken by an officer who asked her friend for her identity and why she was calling. Her friend replied that her child was sick and she was at the Vavuniya General Hospital and needed Jayakumari’s help whereupon the officer cut the call and thereafter Jayakumari’s phone was switched off. Since then there has been no communication with her.

After she was detained she was brought to Vavunia Police Compound and the police announced that it was for further investigation.

Police spokesperson, Ajith Rohana stated to BBC Tamil Service that, on the 13 November night, a shooting incident took place in Tharmapurum on 13 November, mornings and the suspect has escaped. They identified a house where the suspect has been hiding and because of that, two women have been investigated. He also stated one of their police officers had been injured in the shooting incident.

Jayakumari is still been detained without any charge. She is afraid for her life as she possesses tangible evidence against the Sri Lankan Armed Forces for rights violations, especially in relation to the disappearance of her husband, the killing of her two sons and the disappearance of the third.

The Asian Human Rights Commission believes that Jayakumary’s life is in danger as the United Nations Human Rights Council is about to take a resolution asking the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights to initiate a mechanism and report back to the UNHRC on war crimes which happened during the conflict in Sri Lanka.

Jayakumari seeks justice and the protection for her life and that of her only remaining child and seeks the rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

I therefore request your urgent intervention to ensure that the authorities listed below instigate an immediate investigation into the allegations of illegal detention of a victim whose rights have been continuously violated by police and further preventing of getting justice. I further request for the prosecution of the responsible persons under the criminal law of the country for misusing powers of state officers. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of the department orders as issued by the department.

Yours sincerely,

———————————————–
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 Palitha 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.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

 

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Latest comments

  • 13
    2

    These are real ones that suffer by the cruelties of current regime.

    I read somewhere the story of this lady in the pic, her fate is beyond all bearing. These men to keep her further in custody is not human.

    Those who respect human dignity should come forward to protest against govt´s brutal acts.

    We the sinahalyas must act to save the nation from Rajapakshe regime. UNHRC should finally frame everything them can to corner MR and thugs by sending them home, leaving the nation to free choice. Then they may finally be able to find their future leader.

  • 15
    2

    We the people from colombo and other areas should come to street to protest against this kind of detetions. This rule has now become very cruel… very tyranic.. no democracy at all. All senior professionals should come to the streets and protest against this kind of brutalities.

  • 14
    2

    Let’s pray the sex-crazy Sinhala armed force personnel don’t rape the mother and the child to add insult to the inhuman arrest and incarceration.

  • 0
    7

    Why detain her and give free food?

    Release her.

    Hell’s gates have opened for her.

    • 8
      1

      @fathsitma, you are such a pariah dog every time someone mentions Tamil or Jaffna, you stick your crap in there, which appears that I am the only one who cares to give it back to you. You must have been gutter dweller.

    • 1
      0

      They have already kicked her, slapped her and dragged her by her hair. It is not secret how these police and army guys treat women. They have no shame!

  • 2
    10

    CT should publish the truth instead of this piece of propaganda.

    A LTTE gun man was hiding in the same house of the arrested woman. That LTTE man Gobi fired at a policeman and vanished.

    Those who cry for the woman must tell why the woman was hiding a terrorist?

    The under aged child was sent to the child care after the mother was arrested.

    • 8
      1

      CT published that claim by GOSL.

      Tha claim is as believable as the Loch Ness monster existing. GOSL needs an excuse so they concoted this so called Gobi person.

      Typical of a you to parrot the trumped up claim by GOSL, after all you mislead people with a Tamil name despite being a Sinhala Chauvinist.

    • 9
      0

      .
      Hello M. Siva…… you are back!

      You are the one who once said, VP’s 10 yr old son was not murdered by SriLankan Army, but living in Norway with his Uncle.

      Did you find VP’s son? Let Geneva knows, whole thing will be dropped.

      :-)

    • 4
      1

      M.Sivananthan is [Edited out]

  • 8
    0

    I appreciate the imagination of the Sri Lankan authorities.
    How on earth did the come up with this imaginative name Gobi?

    Why not more common Jaffana Tamil name like Sivanathan or Ganeshan or Karuna Amman or Pathmanathan or Prbabkaran or Veluupillai or Tamil Chelvan

    but ….Gobi?

    Nice Tamil song come to my mind

    Gopiyar Konchum Ramana Gopalakrishna…

    • 4
      0

      [How on earth did the come up with this imaginative name Gobi?]
      They tried to find a name close to Gota and then chose a Tamil spin in sound.

      • 4
        1

        Maybee one of the Military or Government personnel tasked with coming up with the excuse has a Gobi fish.

        • 2
          0

          [How on earth did the come up with this imaginative name Gobi?]…….

          First they had Julampitiya Amarae…..then Kangetta, then Wele Suda, after that Mahasona,after that Wanate Sunil, then Greese Yaka……and Finally GOBI…

          Who is next…………Should be GAN KABARAYA…….

    • 7
      0

      May be they learnt dishes “Gobi masala” and “Gobi manchurian” from their partner in crime MMS.

  • 2
    0

    Liberty Loss to over emphasis of boot licking politicians.

    The sovereignty of one’s self over one’s self is called Liberty.
    -Albert Pike


    The purpose of the United Nations should be to protect the essential sovereignty of nations, large and small.–Nikita Khrushchev


    The European nations’ loss of sovereignty to the EU should be a warning to Americans.–Phyllis Schlafly

  • 5
    0

    If Gobi is indeed not a figment of imagination, and indeed reincarnation of VP and embarking to revive the now defunct LTTE I doubt that he is gullible enough to take sanctury in a highly visible Tamil Activist’s house.?

  • 0
    6

    Very nice article CT. CT should be prosecuted oneday for supporting Terrorists.

    A dead Terrorist wife has become a rights activist.

    Imagine, Bin LAden’s wives emerge as right activists. Then we can understand the motive behind.

    • 3
      1

      former terrorists have become MR regime supporter even MP/Minister.. did not you forget that BUMSOFTY ?

      former LTTErs that ran ltte in public – KP and several others have more rights today than country´s real war hero GREAT SARATH FONSEKA…

      the curse is on MR these days.. comes ahead will be ascendingly cruel for him. all evils will cause him to get punished. We will see all these in next few months.

    • 5
      1

      Jimsofty, What do you think of Karuna, Pillaiyan, KP, Douglas, Thaya master, Vimal veeravansa and several other who are the advisers to this government?

  • 0
    0

    I SUPPOSE IT IS A BIT LIKE GUANTANAMO BAY.
    KERRY, ONAMA AND US AMBASSODOR TAKE NOTE OF THE SIMILARITIES.

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