Friday, May 09, 2014

Demanding justice in Sri Lanka

While hundreds rallied outside during our 2014 Get On The Bus action on Sri Lanka on April 11, four Amnesty International USA activists met at the Sri Lankan UN mission with Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Major General Shavendra Silva. We presented around 400 letters participants had signed demanding justice for the “Trinco Five”: Ragihar Manoharan and four other Tamil students who were gunned down by police in Trincomalee on January 2, 2006. (12 Special Task Force members were detained and later released without being charged.)

We demanded that the government: 
  1. Conduct an effective, impartial investigation into the murders of Ragihar Manoharan and the “Trinco Five.” 
  2. Publish the 2006 Presidential Commission of Inquiry report without further delay. 
  3. Promptly transfer the case to a higher court. 
  4. Prosecute those who are responsible for the murders, and bring them to justice in a manner consistent with international human rights standards.
 The families of these students deserve no less than this.

We also expressed concern about the arrest and detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) of Balendran Jeyakumari, an advocate for families of people “disappeared” in the military conflict in Sri Lanka, and her 13-year-old daughter Vibooshika. We called for them to be released, or else to be charged with a recognizable offense under ordinary criminal law, and to receive due process and private attorney visits. Ambassador Silva agreed to follow up with us about these cases. We will not give up until justice has been served, for the “Trinco Five” and for all who have been arbitrarily detained in Sri Lanka under the PTA.
Presenting letters to Sri Lankan Deputy UN Ambassador
Photo by Steve Latimer, AI 9/280

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