to ask govt. to give better facilities for wounded
By Kesara Abeywardena
The UNP yesterday decided to tell the
government to seek more funds from parliament if
necessary to provide better medical facilities for
wounded soldiers, party sources said.
At a meeting of the party’s parliamentary group and
the working committee, the members said that according
to their information the army hospital was in need of
medical equipment amounting to Rs.56 million.
Therefore the party decided to request the Deputy
Minister of Finance G. L. Peiris to move a supplementary
estimate in parliament, to enable more funds to be
allocated for medical supplies. If such a proposal is
made the UNP will support it, the sources said.
Otherwise, the party will request to cancel the
importation of bullet proof luxury vehicles for
Ministers and utilise that money to upgrade the army
The members had also pointed out that the hospitals
where the wounded soldiers were treated did not appear
to have adequate facilities.
At the meeting presided by Opposition Leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe it had also been resolved to launch a
fund to provide the army with vital medical needs that
are lacking in the army hospital at present.
Wickremesinghe had said that during his visit to the
army hospital on Wednesday it was revealed that the army
was in need of some vital medical equipment and
The UNP had also appointed two committees to look
into the needs of the army and to analyse the war effort
and the military debacles. The first committee will be
chaired by MP Anura Bandaranaike and the second
committee will be headed by party General Secretary
Those who spoke at the meeting included Gamini Lokuge,
H. G. P. Nelson, Karunasena Kodituwakku, Lakshman Yapa
Abeywardena, Mano Wijeratne, Lakshman Seneviratne and A.
H. M. Azwer. They had focused on the capture of Elephant
Pass by the LTTE.
MP Karunasena Kodituwakku told the meeting that the
debacle was a strong blow to the national pride and the
morale of the military. He asked the UNP to press the
government to depoliticise the military and appoint able
officers to plan and implement war strategies. He also
said that people from all segments of society were
feeling this defeat as a national disaster.
treatment campaign launched today
By Himangi Jayasundere
A one-day treatment campaign for filaria will
be launched today in three provinces in the country,
Provincial Director of Health Services, Western
Province, Dr. U. Indrasiri said. He said that the
programme will be held in the Western, North Western and
Southern provinces from April 28-30. Residents are
required to obtain tablets for the one-day treatment
from their nearest centre. Dr. Indrasiri told a press
briefing that centres to distribute the tablets, will be
set up in schools, hospitals and community centres in
each area. Medical Officers of Health (MOH), midwives
and other staff are expected to inform residents of
their relevant centres. Health officials have also put
up posters and will announce the chosen centres through
public address systems. Each centre is expected to
provide treatment for about 250 people. This is the
second round of a five year programme to eradicate
filaria from Sri Lanka organised by the Health Ministry,
Western Province. It was first conducted in November
last year and will be conducted every six months. Dr.
Indrasiri said that those who had missed the one day
treatment in its first round could nevertheless join the
programme in its second round, as there would be no ill
According to him this system has been used in
countries like Japan and China successfully.
Dr. Lakshmi de Silva, Senior Epidemiologist of the
Western Province Health Department, said that earlier
they were attempting to combat the mosquito that was
carrying the germ from one person to another but were
now attempting to eradicate the germ, microfilaria from
the body. The male and female adult filaria worms live
in the lymphatic system. The larvae or the offspring of
the adult worm known as microfilaria live in the lungs
and come into the blood stream in the night. Since
mosquitoes also attack people in the night they carry
the germ from one person to another. "This is why
it is important that everybody takes the treatment at
the same time" Dr. de Silva said, because the germ
from an untreated person can enter a treated person once
again. Due to the difficulty of addressing the entire
country at the same time, they have chosen to work on a
provincial basis, starting along the coastal areas.
Although most people do not show signs of having
filaria, they have the germ in their body and therefore
it is necessary to take this treatment, she said.
Occasional swelling of the skin and coughing at night
are also caused by this germ Dr. de Silva said.
According to her the tablet will only destroy the
offspring and not the adult worms themselves. The life
span of the male worm is about 2-5 years while the
female lives 5-30 years. Through the five year programme
they hope to eradicate the male worm completely, which
will result in the breeding process coming to an end.
Navigation Act to be updated
By Irosha Weththasingha
The 50-year-old Air Navigation Act will be
further amended to keep up with the modern requirements
in the fast growing field of Civil Aviation, Director
General of Civil Aviation Mr. Lal Liyanarachchi said
The Air Navigation Act, enacted in 1950, gives
authority to the department to conduct regulatory work
and to constantly monitor the field of aviation to
maintain minimum standards required by the State and the
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It was
last amended in 1992.
"There are lots of shortcomings in the Air
Navigation Act in the current context and the Department
is working to draft a new Civil Aviation Act to minimise
these shortcomings," Mr. Liyanarachchi said.
He said the new amendments would focus on how to
improve the quality of the staff. "The aviation
industry, being a growing and a very global industry,
needs well qualified staff to keep up with the changing
trends". He said the traditional British type
Aviation Department of Sri Lanka lacks adequate expert
staff. To remedy this a project was started with three
officers of ICAO in ’98 to train the local staff.
"Once these officers leave Sri Lanka, the local
staff would continue this training project," he
The Director said that it is the responsibility of
the State to update the safety standards and keep
abreast with developments in the rest of the world.
"To do this the laws must be flexible and the new
act would make laws flexible and easy to follow".
He said that economists and some government officials
do not still understand the importance of the field of
civil aviation. "Earlier the Civil Aviation
Department used to be under the Defence Ministry. It was
only after this government came to power that a separate
Ministry was set-up," he said adding that without
an efficient aviation service the open economy and any
foreign investments would not be possible.
campaign against terrorists to continue
Acting Defence Minister General Anuruddha Ratwatte
told the cabinet meeting held last Wednesday that the
military campaign against the terrorists is being
continued under the complete control of the three armed
forces commanders backed by appropriate political
A press release from the Information Department said:
"Minister of Irrigation and Power and Acting
Minister of Defence General Anuruddha Ratwatte, at the
Cabinet meeting that was held on Wednesday (26)
explained the present security situation in the country.
He traced the developments in the North since the
capture of Jaffna up to the recent setback at Elephant
Pass. He said that the military effort is being
continued under the complete control of the Commanders
of the three armed forces backed by appropriate
political leadership. He also stated that adequate
arrangements are being made in respect of those who are
fighting; the injured and also for funerals of those who
have fallen in the battlefield.
Several Ministers joined in the discussion and It was
agreed that special attention should be given to media
coverage on the developments in the war-front with the
twin objective of providing correct information to the
general public and refuting false propaganda by
Cabinet of Ministers also unanimously decided that
each member of the Cabinet would donate one (01)
month’s salary to the Defence Fund".
prepare for May Day rallies
By Franklin R. Satyapalan
While the SLFP has decided not to participate
in the May Day demonstration on Monday following the
debacle at Elephant Pass, the other constituent parties
of the PA and the opposition parties said their trade
unions would observe May Day with demonstrations as in
SLFP sources said that members of the party and its
trade unions would nevertheless participate in the PA
rally at the Town Hall grounds.
"Permanent peace through a political
solution" will be the main theme at the PA meeting
at Town Hall which is expected to be presided by a
worker, party sources said.
The UNP will hold its May Day rally and demonstration
at Nuwara Eliya said its general secretary Gamini
The meeting would be presided over by leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe and the demonstration will commence in
front of the Racecourse at 1 p.m. and proceed to the
town for the rally at 2 p.m.
The main theme of the UNP this year would be the
security situation in the country and the rising cost of
living and the hardship faced by the people. The UNP has
cancelled the planned musical show.
The four left parties partners of the PA, the Lanka
Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), the Communist Party (CP), the
Desha Vimukthi Janatha Pakshaya (DVJP) and the Sri Lanka
Mahajana Party (SLMP) will hold their May Day
demonstration commencing at Dr. N. M. Perera Mawatha at
1 p.m. said General Secretary of the CP Mr. Raja Collure
The procession will proceed to Borella Junction along
Dr. N. M. Perera Mawatha, Maradana Road, Symonds Road,
Deans Road, and C. W. W. Kannangara Mawatha to the venue
of the PA’s rally at the Town Hall grounds and
participate in the rally. The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP)
led by Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena will hold their May Day
rally and demonstration in Seethawakapura in Avissawella.
The demonstration will commence at Puwakpitiya at 1
p.m. and proceed along High Level Road to Seethavakapura
in Avissawella for a rally at 3 p.m.
The theme of this year’s rally would be "to
protect the sovereignty and integrity of Sri
Lanka". The People’s Liberation Front (JVP) will
hold its Red May Day rally commencing with a
demonstration from Cooray Playground at Wellawatte at 11
a.m. and proceeding to the main rally at BRC Grounds in
Havelock town. The rally will commence at 3 p.m. said
Propaganda Secretary and Western Provincial Councillor
He said that several left parties and progressive
fronts from many parts of the world including those from
Japan, Austria and Italy etc. will be also sending their
representatives for this year’s Red May Day rally of
The General Secretary of the Ceylon Estate Staff
Union Mr. S. Arulnandy said that they had decided to
devote this year’s May Day to religious observances in
place of the customary rally and meeting.
The members from tea, rubber and coconut plantation
areas around the country will gather at Kalutara clad in
white instead of the traditional red and walk to the
Kalutara Bodhi for a pooja commencing at 10 a.m. and
proceed thereafter to a Hindu Temple for a pooja
followed by a service at a church.
This year’s special arrangements is to invoke
blessings and merit on the workers and their families.
SLT lines out of order
Due to a cable breakdown in the Galle Exchange, 1200
telephone lines have gone out of order. Customers in
Akmeemana, Ganegoda, Labuduwa, Karapitya, Wackwella
Road, Kithulampitiya, Dangedera, Ambalangoda have been
Sri Lanka Telecom Engineering staff is working to
restore the service as soon as possible, Sri Lanka
Telecom said yesterday.
unfazed over war anniversary security
HO CHI MINH CITY, April 27 (Reuters) -
Vietnam will not put extra security personnel on the
streets of the former Saigon this weekend for the 25th
anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, a senior
official said on Thursday.
Le Thanh Hai, vice chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City
People’s Committee, said that while it was normal for
"ill-willed and unfriendly elements" to try to
spoil such events, the communist authorities were
However, he would not comment on reports that
anti-communist overseas Vietnamese groups might try to
disrupt the victory celebrations in the bustling
metropolis, renamed Ho Chi Minh City after the
"You will not see additional police or armed
forces deployed. The situation will remain normal,"
Hai told a news conference at the French-colonial era
The United States in March advised Americans to be on
alert ahead of the anniversary, citing reports of
possible attacks on foreign businesses. The Japanese
embassy in Hanoi has also told travellers to exercise
A city official told Reuters last week that safety
was one reason behind a decision to move military
parades scheduled for Sunday morning off the streets and
into the grounds of the former South Vietnamese
But Hai denied this, saying the reason was because of
the palace’s historical significance — it is now
called the Reunification Palace — and also to save
Entry on Sunday will be by invitation only, and
barricades blocking access to the area will go up after
midnight on Saturday.
Urumaya party president at official launching
‘We do what we say and say what we mean’
by Kesara Abeywardena
The newly formed political party Sihala Urumaya
was officially launched in the presence of a large
gathering and marked with national pride and dignity at
the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute auditorium,
The "sannasa" bearing the official
announcement of the political party was brought to the
assembly room by a young girl and a boy dressed in
national dress accompanied by the intonation of ‘magul
bera’. The ‘sannasa’ proclaimed the new political
party Sihala Urumaya as dedicated to the national cause
and to protect the generations beginning with Ravana who
had been inhabiting this island while taking the country
to the future.
The large gathering present included eminent persons
from all walks of life and ages. The auditorium was
packed and a section of the crowd was seated outside
following the proceedings of the simple ceremony through
a video projection, while some were standing inside.
President of Sihala Urumaya leading lawyer S. L.
Gunasekera in a moving speech said that the moment was
not a happy one for him as a large number of sons of the
soil who had laid down their lives for the country in a
war fought on a political agenda, were going their last
journey. He said that they would have never wanted to
form a political party of this nature if the main
political parties and the leaders had worked for the
country at large and took genuine steps to eradicate the
"The two main parties have betrayed the
Sinhalese and all other communities in the country. They
are still trying to give a part of this country to
Prabhakaran after all that has happened," he said.
He charged President Kumaratunga and Opposition Leader
Ranil Wickremesinghe to leave their positions and
appoint capable people to those places and enjoy more
foreign trips and boat rides to their pleasure.
Addressing the minorities he said they would be much
more secure with them than any other political party
since they were for equality and for developing the
country according to a national policy. "We do what
we say and say what we mean," he said.
Quoting from the famous Gettysburg address of Abraham
Lincoln he said that they were committed to the cause of
they who had laid their lives so that the "nation
might live." To a captivated crowd he said that
they were for democracy and establishing a democratic
state where all communities would live in harmony.
"We believe that this country is the motherland of
all communities. We are against carving an exclusive
imaginary homeland only for one ethnic group in a part
of this country," he said.
Tilak Karunaratne, Secretary General of Sihala
Urumaya said that he would resign from Parliament on May
9 — the next sitting day — and work full-time for
the victory of the new party which has a national vision
lacking in the main parties. He charged the foreign
funded NGOs and the government ministers for the
military tragedies as they have been responsible in
bringing down the morale of the army.
He urged the government to immediately stop sending
food and medicine to LTTE held areas as they are not
been given to the innocent civilians but used by the
LTTE. "We must be the only country in the world
which feeds its own enemy," he said.
Champika Ranawaka, National Organiser of Sihala
Urumaya said that the government had betrayed soldiers
who had laid down their lives to capture Jaffna and
Wanni in the Jayasikuru operation. "If the racism
of Prabhakaran continues this country would be taken
over by him very quickly and the two main parties just
don’t care," he said.
The Central Committee of Sihala Urumaya consists of
President: S. L. Gunasekera
General Secretary: Thilak Karunaratne
National Organiser: Patali Champika Ranawake
Treasurer: Dr. Neville Kanakaratne
Deputy Presidents: Prof. C. M. Madduma Bandara, Prof.
A. D. V. de S. Indraratna, Maj. Gen. Thilak Paranagama.
Lt. Col. Anil Amarasekera
Deputy Secretaries: Dr. Piyasena Dissanayake, Mrs.
Deputy Treasurer: Anil Jayawardena
Committee Members: Chula de Silva - PC, Gamini Perera,
Dr. Mrs. Ranjani Ratnapala, Kamal Deshapriya, Malinga H.
Guneratne, Sujith Akkarawaththa
The official proclamation of Sihala Urumaya reads as
Let us build the Sihala Urumaya
The Sinhalese who built the immeasurably valuable
civilization of Sri Lanka, our beloved motherland is
plunged today tragically into despair, desperation and
On the one hand the Tamil expansionist movement has
reached the highest point of its campaign for the
conquest of the whole of Sri Lanka. After the failure of
the strong endeavours made by the Ponnambalam brothers
to take over the governance of the whole country. G. G.
Ponnambalam devised the strategy of demanding an unequal
share of state power for the small Tamil minority.
Subsequently S. J. V. Chelvanayakam launched his
campaign for an exclusive separate Tamil State. After
distorting the history of this country, the Tamil
racists set out to militarily gain their aim by the
power of the bullet.
Thanks to the short-sighted unpatriotic policies of
our previous rulers such as the UNP and SLFP at this
moment we are faced with the challenge of the most
awesome politico-military gains of the Tamil racist
At this critical moment in our history the PA-UNP and
the leftists are kneeling in servile abjection before
the terrorists and their foreign Godfathers to betray
our beloved motherland and its sacred soil to the
This grave situation has given rise to the birth of
Sihala Urumaya. Our aim is to restore to the Sinhala
people their lost right to live in any part of the
country and to carry on a livelihood, be free from fear
and terrorism. One of our most estimable aims is to
bring back to the Sinhalese justice, equal treatment and
their rightful place in this country’s polity and
We are dedicated to the supreme purpose of wiping out
terrorism from this country and establishing a society,
in which all citizens have equal rights, equal freedom
irrespective of their community, religion and status in
society. We take the solemn vow this day to protect the
territorial integrity, unitary status and sovereignty of
this country and its democratic institutions.
Over the past five decades under the rulership of the
two main political parties, the economy and environment
of this country have been destroyed. Our aim is to
construct a modernized national economy giving due
consideration to principles which were the foundation of
our ancient heritage.
We undertake to protect the environment, its rich and
varied bio-diversity, our natural resources and utilize
those resources wisely in a sustainable manner.
We see around us an alarming deterioration of the
values we have inherited from thousands of years of
civilization. It is our duty to restore to our people
particularly the young an appreciation and practice of
those value systems. What we seek is both a revival and
a renaissance in our society.
Despite the process of globalization, many nations
Such as India are seeking their cultural roots. We too
must join that momentum if our country is to survive
progress and flourish in this present atmosphere of
We call upon the Sinhalese who have lost their way in
a dark tunnel of divisive politics, to unite and join us
in this sacred cause.
This is the liberation struggle of the Sinhalese.
Join us; trust us to build a Sinhala Nation with the
true sons of Sri Lanka.
calls off May Day demo
by Walter Nanayakkara
Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the main political
party in the ruling People’s Alliance will not take
part in the May Day demonstration of the Alliance, this
SLFP General Secretary, Dharmasiri Senanyake has
informed party organisations in Colombo District and
trade unions affiliated to the party that the decision
has been taken due to the security situation of the
Members of Colombo District organisations of the
People’s Alliance and trade unions controlled by the
Alliance parties were earlierl schedueld to converge at
Campbell Park, Borella and march in demonstration to the
Colombo Town Hall Grounds, where the rally takes place.
SLFP political organisations will not take part in
the demonstration following the party decision but they
will make their presence at the Town Hall ground along
with party workers of the other member organisations of
the ruling People’s Alliance.
PA sources said there would be no party big wigs at
this year’s May Day rally of the ruling coalition
unlike in the previous years.
Town hall grounds, Colombo was the bloody scene of an
attempt to asassinate President Chandrika Bandaranaike
Kumaratunga by the LTTE, minutes after she addressed the
last Presidential election meeting on December 18, last
In the outstations the organisations of the ruling
People’s Alliance celebrate May Day, on a religious
note, remembrance services on behalf of the soldiers
killed in the latest engagements with the LTTE in the
North, Bodhi Poojas, blood donation campaigns etc.
Members of the Trade Unions of the People’s
Alliance will also donate a days pay to the War Heroes
Fund, to provide relief to the injured soldiers and the
bereaved families, Minister of Provincial Councils and
Local Government Alavi Mowlana states.
chief says he never wanted censorship
Army Commander Lieutenant General Srilal Weerasooriya
Monday night said that he never asked for a censorship
on war reporting.
Replying a question, raised by a journalist at the
media briefing held at the army headquarters to explain
the security situation in the north, the army chief said
that he never requested for a censorship. Asked to
comment on claims that the censorship was imposed to
prevent the media from leaking information to the enemy
and demoralising the forces, the armed forces spokesman
Brigadier Palitha Fernando said the army has a way of
keeping the troops informed. "They get our internal
newspaper," he said adding that copies are made
available to every unit.
students re-remanded in ragging case
Two senior students held by the Peradeniya
police in connection with recent incidents of ragging
freshers at the Peradeniya University were re-remanded
till July 4 by the Kandy Chief Magistrate Leon
The two suspects Wijeratne Banda and K. W. G. Upali
from Minigamuwa in Galagedara and Hingurakgoda
respectively were earlier on remand till April 25.
They were produced in court by remand prison
officials in Kandy and Sgt. B. M. Navaratne moved that
they be further remanded as eleven more suspects in the
case were evading arrest.
The two suspects on remand have been charged under
the Anti-Ragging Act No. 20 of 1998 Sgt. Navaratne told
Further investigations are being conducted by a team
of police personnel led by SI A. L. M. Bandara of the
captured only one artillery piece’
by Shamindra Ferdinando
Terrorists last week captured a Chinese built
152 mm artillery piece from troops withdrawing from the
Elephant Pass base, military sources said.
Army Commander Lieutenant General Srilal Weerasooriya
Monday night said that one artillery piece was lost to
the enemy. Addressing a press conference at his
headquarters, the army chief denied LTTE claims that
several artillery pieces, heavy mortars, armoured
fighting vehicles and other equipment were captured by
"We lost only one artillery piece," he
Military sources said that troops engaged in
transporting three artillery pieces out of the Elephant
Pass-Iyakachchi base complex were attacked. During the
confrontation terrorists seized one 152 mm which has a
15 km range.
The sources said that the captured gun was fired on
the same day.
However, troops managed to take the remaining two
guns to safety.
Lieutenant General Weerasooriya said armaments and
heavy equipment which could not be moved were made
unserviceable. Among the items destroyed were two 152 mm
and 122 mm guns, he told the briefing.
Terrorists had captured a number of artillery pieces
and mortars from security forces over the past few
Meanwhile, terrorists continue to fire mortars at
troops engaged in consolidating their new positions a
few kms Northwest of Elephant Pass, a senior military
officer said last night.
However, there had been no serious fighting since
troops completed their withdrawal from Elephant Pass
last Saturday .
The military said that troops in Point Pedro remain
on alert to face possible attacks in the area.
Terrorists control Vadamarachchy east since they moved
in late last month as part of their ongoing offensive
aimed at wresting control, of the peninsula the sources
abduction, murder and ransom case
Defence Counsel threatened with death
By V. Varathasuntharam
Defence Counsel Jaliya Samarasinghe appearing
for the teen age accused in the 8-year-old child Sadeepa
abduction and murder case told court that he received
telephone calls and anonymous letters threatening him
with his life for defending the accused, for performing
a professional duty.
Mr. Samarasinghe brought this matter to the notice of
the Trial at Bar hearing the eight year old boy Sadeepa
Luxan, kidnap, abduction, murder and ransom case.
The Trial at Bar comprises High Court Judges
Chandradasa Nanayakkara (Chairman), Andrew Somawanse and
Mr. Samarasinghe addressing the Trial at Bar told
that an accused is presumed innocent until found guilty
by Court. It was a sacred duty of a counsel to appear
for his client, look after the interest of his client
and to defend him. It was in fact a professional
He continued that an accused had a right to be
defended either by himself or through a counsel at a
public and fair trial. That right should be jealously
guarded. It would be a sorry state of affairs if there
ever was an erosion into that sacred right.
The Bench directed the defence counsel to make a
complaint to the CID and told that the CID would
investigate fully into that matter.
In this case teenager Amila Nuan is indicted with
abduction of eight year old Sadeepa Luxan from the
custody of his father, murder and with obtaining a
ransom at Aluthgama on October 10, 1999.
Senior State Counsel Jayantha Jayasuriya with State
Counsel Prashanthi Mahindaratne appeared for the
Jaliya Samarasinghe appeared for the accused.
Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs and
Plantation Industries and the Leader of the House,
Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka directed all departments,
corporations under his ministry not to hold any
celebrations or ceremonies while the government troops
are engaged in a fight against terrorists.
The minister has stated that the training programmes,
workshops, seminars and opening of institutions can be
conducted without celebrations. He has ordered the
secretaries of the Ministries of Public Administration
and Home Affairs and Plantation Industries to avoid
celebrations in all the occasions.
all unofficial detention camps, says UNHRC
by Saman Indrajith
The United Nations Human Rights Commission (UN-HRC)
at its 56th Session now being held at Geneva stated all
unofficial places of detention maintained by the
paramilitary organisations such as PLOTE and TELO should
be dissolved, a participant of the session said.
The UNHRC stated that the Sri Lankan Government has
not implemented any of UNHRC’s nine recommendations to
prevent enforced disappearances, or to bring the country
to internationally accepted standards of human rights,
The President of the Organisation of Parents and
Family Members of the Disappeared (OPF-MD), Chandra
Peiris, who participated in UNHRC’s 56th Session at
Geneva and returned at the end of human rights part of
the session told "The Island" yesterday that
UNHRC stated that Sri Lankan law enforcement bodies
seemed not to know the safeguards for the prevention of
arbitrary arrests and often disregarded in practice.
He said that UNHRC in its ‘Civil & Political
Rights including Questions of Disappearances and Summary
Executions: Report of the Working Group on Enforced or
Involuntary Disapp-earances; Addendum: Report on visit
to Sri Lanka by a member of the Working Group on
Enforced or Involuntary Disapp-earances’ clearly
states that the government has not maintained
internationally accepted standards of human rights.
The UNHRC working group which had sent its member to
Sri Lanka last October had met representatives of OPFMD,
relatives of disappeared persons and law enforcement
Chandra Peiris said that he had raised the issue at
the UNHRC session that no action had been taken by this
government as promised by the working group member
before he left the country last October.
"In reply the UNHRC authorities said that they
had already addressed nine recommendations to the Sri
Lankan government. But no action had been taken yet,
The report by the working group says:
The government should establish an independent body
with the task of investigating all cases of
disappearances occurred since 1995 and identifying the
The Government should speed up its efforts to bring
the perpetrators of enforced disappearances, whether
committed under the former or the present government, to
justice. The Attorney-General or another independent
authority should be empowered to investigate and indict
suspected perpetrators of enforced disappearances
irrespective of the outcome of investigations by the
The act of enforced disappearances should be made an
independent offence under the criminal law of Sri Lanka
punishable by appropriate penalties as stipulated in
Article 4 of the United Nations Declaration on the
Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappea-rances.
The Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency
Regul-ations currently in force should be abolished or
otherwise brought into line with internationally
accepted standards of personal liberty, due process of
law and humane treatment of prisoners.
Any person deprived of liberty should be held only in
an officially recognised place of detention as
stipulated in article 10 (1) of the declaration. All
unofficial places of detention, in particular those
established by paramilitary organisations fighting
alongside the security forces, such as PLOTE and TELO,
should immediately be dissolved;
The Government should set up a central register of
detainees as provided for in Article 10 (3) of the
declaration. Since the Human Rights Commission needs to
be informed immediately of every arrest and detention
under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency
Regulations, such a central computerised register of
detainees might be established at its headquarters. Such
a solution would, however, require a substantial
increase in the powers and resources of the commission.
All families of disappeared persons should receive
the same amount of compensation. The differentiation
between public civil servants and others seem
discriminatory and should, therefore, be abolished.
Compensation should not be made dependent on the
confirmation as "proven" by a Commission of
Inquiry. In addition to these compensations, the
families of the disappeared persons should be supported,
according to their needs, by other means, such as low
interest loan schemes or scholarships for the children.
The procedure for issuing death-certificates in cases
of disappearances should be applied in an equal and
non-discriminatory manner to all families.
The prohibition of enforced disappearances should be
included as a fundamental right in the Constitution of
Sri Lanka to which the remedy of a direct human rights
complaint to the Supreme Court under Article 13 of the
Constitution is applied irrespective of the fact whether
the disappeared person is presumed to be alive or dead.
caught for sending Tamils abroad on forged documents
by Wimalkeerthi - Negombo
Two authorised officers of the Immigration and
Emigration De-partment and a investigations officer of
Sri Lankan Airlines produced before Negombo Magistrate
and Additional District Judge Saman Wickramarachchi by
the Criminal Investigations De-partment under the
Prevention of Terrorism Act on charges of aiding and
abetting Tamil nationals to migrate using Sri Lankan
names to collect funds for the LTTE organisation have
been ordered to be remanded indefinitely.
The suspects were M. Wimal Fernando of Francisco
Place, Moratumulla, V. Saman Mahi Bandara of Alwis
Place, Attidiya and Mohamed Sheefan Suwaheer of St.
Lasarus Road, Negombo.
These suspects had been arrested after investigation
carried out by the Criminal Investig-ations Department
following the arrest of a foreign employment agency
owner, Anura Abeywardane residing at Raddolugama housing
scheme, Seeduwa. The Criminal Investig-ations Department
also had recovered several forged documents and rubber
seals pertaining to foreign employment in possession of
These suspects had aided and abetted fourteen Tamil
nationals to go abroad using their official seals on
forged foreign travel documents, police said.
Of these 14 Tamil nationals six had been nabbed at
Katunayake Bandar-anaike airport while the other 8 at
Frankfurt Airport, Germany, Criminal Investigations De-partment,
officials told the Courts.
Ten more suspects also had been arrested in
connection with these underhand deals.