28 October, 2020

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Urgent Appeal: Human Rights Defender Wanatamulle Sunil Samaradeera’s Life Under Threat

Wanatamulla Sunil Samaradeera appeals for protection for himself and his family members and justice for the abuse of his fundamental rights.justice for the abuse of his fundamental rights, says the Asian Human Rights Commission.

We publish below the urgent appeal of AHRC;

SRI LANKA: The life of a human rights defender is under threat

ISSUES: Illegal arrest; arbitrary detention; disappearance;
abduction; impunity; rule of law

——————————————————————————————

Dear friends,

Sunil Samaradeera of No: 34/2, Baseline Mawatha, Borella, a human rights activist based in Wanathamulla, in Colombo District was abducted in broad daylight by persons believed to be connected to the Secretary of Defense. On 13 of February Sunil had met with the Secretary, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, regarding issues concerning a housing scheme which threatens to put several households out of their land and according to reports there had been a heated exchange of words. Sunil’s abduction happened shortly after that. Sunil’s neighbours and colleagues staged a protest by blocking a road and as a result two days later he was released. However, he is concerned for his personal security and the authorities have made no effort to investigate the abduction and bring the perpetrators to justice.

This case is yet another illustration of the fact that influential or well connected people can use the Sri Lankan police to their benefit
despite the fact that the victims are innocent persons.

wanathamulla_sunil_001

 

CASE NARRATIVE:

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the abduction of Sunil Samaradeera alias Wanathe Sunil of No: 34/2, Baseline Mawatha, Borella, a human rights activist based in Wanathamulla, in Colombo District. There is grave concern for his safety. Sunil was abducted on 15 of February 2014 close to the temple at Dematagoda by unknown men in a Pajero. His hands were tied; head covered, he was put into the vehicle by force and then his body was covered by a polythene sheet. After a journey of about one and half hours the vehicle stopped at a house. He was taken inside, put on a mat and chained.

After the news of his abduction spread his wife went to the Dematagoda Police Station and made a complaint. Then the residents of his housing scheme came to know of the incident and after some time, they came to the adjoining main road, Baseline Road, where they
started a protest by blocking the road and appealed for his release.They urged the authorities to act immediately to find him and provide him with protection.

Sunil has been the organiser of the ‘Organisation to Protect Houses
at Wanathamulla’, 34 Watte, and worked hard against the proposed
demolishing and taking over of their housing scheme by the Urban
Development Authority which is overseen by the Secretary of Defence.
He earns his living by selling the eatables like hoppers & string
hoppers in a small boutique and further he is having a family with
five children to maintain. On 13 of February he had met with the
Secretary, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakse in this particular housing scheme
and according to reports there had been a heated exchange of words.

Due to the vehement protest by Sunil’s neighbours he was released
two days later. When he was released the adductors threatened him not
to tell anyone about what had happened to him. They placed him in a
vehicle and released on the road with his wrists still bound. He
shouted to attract the attention of a passing motor cyclist who
stopped and untied him. The motor cyclist took him some distance
towards his place of residence but was reluctant to take him all the
way to Wanathamulla. He somehow managed to reach the scene of the
protest and made his appearance known and it was only then that the
protest ended. His colleagues fear that he will be abducted again and
complain that his life is now in danger.

At the time of writing there has not been an inquiry by the police.
Instead the Police Spokesman stated that it is a drama organized by
some parties interested to create trouble in the area. Sunil along
with several other persons went to the Human Rights Commission of Sri
Lanka (HRC) on 5 March to complain that no suspect has been arrested
by police regarding the abduction on 15 February. Sunil was able to
return to his people only due to the protests carried out by the
people at Wanathamulla. However, it is believed that his life is under
threat as was stated in the complaint made to the Human Rights
Commission.

Sunil appeals for protection for himself and his family members and
justice for the abuse of his fundamental rights.

 

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please send a letter to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case and requesting an immediate investigation into the allegations of abduction of a person by the police perpetrators, and the prosecution of those proven to be responsible under the criminal law of the country for misusing the powers of the 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 their powers.

Please note that the AHRC is also written a separate letter to the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in this regard.

To support this appeal, please click here:
<http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAC-029-2014>

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: The life of a human rights defender is under threat

Name of the victim: Sunil Samaradeera alias Wanathe Sunil of No:
34/2, Baseline Mawatha, Borella

Alleged perpetrator: Police officers attach to the Borella Police
Station

Date of incident: 15 February 2014

Place of incident: Borella Police Division

I am writing to express my serious concern over the case of Mr. Sunil Samaradeera alias Wanathe Sunil of No: 34/2, Baseline Mawatha, Borella. Sunil is a human rights activist based in Wanathamulla, in Colombo District. Sunil was abducted on 15 of February 2014 close to the temple at Dematagoda by unknown men in a Pajero. His hands were tied; head covered, he was put into the vehicle by force and then his body was covered by a polythene sheet. After a journey of about one and half hours the vehicle stopped at a house. He was taken inside, put on a mat and chained.

After the news of his abduction spread his wife went to the Dematagoda Police Station and made a complaint. Then the residents of his housing scheme came to know of the incident and after some time, they came to the adjoining main road, Baseline Road, where they started a protest by blocking the road and appealed for his release.They urged the authorities to act immediately to find him and provide him with protection.

Sunil has been the organiser of the ‘Organisation to Protect Houses at Wanathamulla’, 34 Watte, and worked hard against the proposed demolishing and taking over of their housing scheme by the Urban Development Authority which is overseen by the Secretary of Defence. He earns his living by selling the eatables like hoppers & string hoppers in a small boutique and further he is having a family with five children to maintain. On 13 of February he had met with the Secretary, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakse in this particular housing scheme and according to reports there had been a heated exchange of words.

Due to the vehement protest by Sunil’s neighbours he was released two days later. When he was released the adductors threatened him not to tell anyone about what had happened to him. They placed him in a vehicle and released on the road with his wrists still bound. He shouted to attract the attention of a passing motor cyclist who stopped and untied him. The motor cyclist took him some distance towards his place of residence but was reluctant to take him all the way to Wanathamulla. He somehow managed to reach the scene of the protest and made his appearance known and it was only then that the protest ended. His colleagues fear that he will be abducted again and complain that his life is now in danger.

At the time of writing there has not been an inquiry by the police. Instead the Police Spokesman stated that it is a drama organised by some parties interested to create trouble in the area. Sunil along with several other persons went to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRC) on 5 March to complain that no suspect has been arrested by police regarding the abduction on 15 February. Sunil was able to return to his people only due to the protests carried out by the people at Wanathamulla. However, it is believed that his life is under threat as was stated in the complaint made to the Human Rights Commission.

I therefore request your urgent intervention to ensure that the authorities listed below instigate an immediate investigation into the allegations of abduction and the lack of any investigation into this case. I urge you to ensure the prosecution of those proven to be responsible under the criminal law of the country for illegal abduction, misusing powers of state officers and for wrongful detention. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of the department orders as issued by
the department. I also urge that protection be provided to the victim and his family

forthwith.

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 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.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

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Latest comments

  • 2
    9

    Did you say “Human Rights activist” ? There are 13 adults living in his house – non of them work. He used to [Edited out]

    • 3
      1

      You are right the word “Human Right Activist” means that he should have abducted by a white van belongs to MGB group. The destination is unknown and it is the way Lord Buddha handled human right activists.

    • 3
      0

      Vibhushana

      We live in a free country.

      How many adults live in his home is none of your or Gota’s damn business.

      Do not be a pathetic coaward. Leave the poor man alone. Let him live in his own home in peace and dignity.

      Rather admire him. He has balls of steel. He did succumb to threats of the regime. Like many others such as yourself do. He stood up for his rights.

      We need more like this guy in our tortured nation.

      Cheers!

      • 1
        0

        Ben,
        This Vibhusana is non other than Bandu Jayasekara of australian high com who live on our public money. he need wash MaRas dirty linen for his survival.

  • 2
    1

    Self employed man. selling hoppers and other food based on orders and demand.

    • 4
      0

      Speaking of Colombo poor who sell food in roadside stalls, I personally know of and have been told by others that the GOSL has taken a hardline against them.

      GOSL has chased away and stopped many from engaging in such commerce but GOSL has no alternative for these people to earn a living. GOSL just expects them to starve or somethign.

  • 4
    0

    UNHRC should study closely as they can numerous crimes that are reported alone – the month of March 2014.
    Impunity is governing, while Rajapakshe administration is mum.

    IT IS HIGH TIME R2P TO FUNCTION FOR THE SAKE OF NATION:IT IS HIGH TIME R2P TO FUNCTION FOR THE SAKE OF NATION:IT IS HIGH TIME R2P TO FUNCTION FOR THE SAKE OF NATION:IT IS HIGH TIME R2P TO FUNCTION FOR THE SAKE OF NATION:IT IS HIGH TIME R2P TO FUNCTION FOR THE SAKE OF NATION:

  • 4
    0

    Might has become right in the Rajapakshe land.

    The second death of innocient ones similar to that Mel´s killing not even 6 weeks ago.

    Impunity is governing – Rajakshe administration is staying mum

    R2P should finally save the innocent folks

    ———-
    Schoolboy shot dead by robbers
    March 9, 2014, 12:00 pm

    article_image
    By Norman Palihawadane

    An 18-year-old schoolboy died of gun shot injuries he received at the hands of a gang of robbers who tried to rob his family shop at Asgiri-Walpola in Udugampola, Gampaha on Saturday night.

    The victim was identified as K. Nipun Anuranga Jayathilake, a GCE A/L student of Divulapitiya Gnanodaya Central College.

    He was having dinner at his home when he heard his mother who was at their shop adjacent to the house cry out for help around 8.30 pm. Rushing out to the shop, Nipun saw his mother holding her head which was bleeding. She warned him not to go out of the shop but he ran out looking for the attackers who opened fire.

    Gampaha Chief Magistrate Tikiri K Jayathilake visited the crime scene yesterday (09) and conducted the magisterial inquiry. Robbers used a small gun taking 12-bore shot gun cartridges, according to police.

    The robbers fled the scene in a car. On their way they stabbed a businessman at Pedipola in Gampaha and snatched his told chain. Thereafter they sped away towards the Gampaha town.

    Police said that the suspects, their movements and the vehicle had been recorded in a CCTV camera.

    Nipun had sustained five pellet injuries to an arm and three to the chest, the police said.

    An empty shot gun cartridge was found in front of Nipun’s shop.

  • 0
    0

    Currently he is being portrayed by the media as a HR Activist. Media portrays are like rubber balloons. They explode and thereafter are of no use to anybody.

    • 0
      0

      The Professional:
      Great name to use! However, you don’t way at what you are a pro. I understand that you are the result of one of these rubber balloons bursting. Is that so?

      • 0
        0

        Your parents seemed to have read the book “The unwanted child” authored by FL Burst and named you appropriately.

  • 1
    0

    Best person to become the “hang man” should be president of srilanka.
    He has proved it enough sofar even has been proving to this day… what capacity he has been having in that particular area.

    ——————-

    Noose work if you can get it
    Reuters
    1 hour ago

    COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka is searching for a new hangman after the latest recruit got upset on seeing the gallows for the first time and quit, officials said on Tuesday.

    The Prisons Department appointed the new hangman, the third most qualified from 176 applicants, last week, months after two hangmen chosen late last year failed to show up for work.

    “We gave him one week’s training, but he resigned after seeing the gallows, saying that he didn’t want the job,” Chandrarathna Pallegama, commissioner general of prisons, told Reuters.

    “He told me that after seeing the gallows he got upset… Next time, we will show the gallows to the new recruits before giving them basic training.”

    But it’s not as if he would have been likely to hang anyone anyway. The job is light administrative work only.

    The Indian Ocean island nation, a predominantly Buddhist country, has not carried out an execution since 1976, despite the fact that there are at least 405 convicts on death row.

    But an alarming rise in child abuse, rapes, murders, and drug trafficking in the country since the 25-year war against Tamil Tiger separatists ended in 2009 has prompted some lawyers and politicians to push for the death penalty to be reintroduced.

    (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Writing by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Nick Macfie)

  • 0
    0

    Why is that the minister of justice seem to have no provisions with the prevailing law to act promptly ?

    This you will learn by watching the following documentary link below

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu6NKOmtX-E&list=PL05f8pda2nbTkiy38lVq4GoVQ3UIMrIaK

  • 0
    0

    If frederika could say that people were following her and be granted asylum,why can’t the US grant asylum for sunil who was actually abducted.

    After giving asylum to sunil and getting his statements etc,the US government can cancel gota’s US citizenship.

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