Arrest and detention of Tamils in WP
Court wants list of detainees by Dec. 10
DSG admits only 83 released so far

by Chitra Weerarathne

The Supreme Court yesterday advised the Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando to prepare a list of the Tamil citizens, of the Western Province, who were arrested and detained in connection with the Nugegoda bomb blast last week. The list has to be ready by December 10, 2007.

The petitioners, the Ceylon Workers’ Congress and the Centre for Policy Alternatives, were granted leave to proceed in the fundamental rights violation application.

They had complained to the Court that Tamils were arbitrarily arrested in and around Colombo after the bomb blast. No reasons had been given for the arrests. There hadn’t been sufficient suspicion to make these arrests.

Counsel M. A. Sumathiran, who supported the petition, told the Court that being a Tamil should not be a reason for arrest and detention. He said that around 2,000 persons had been arrested by the Police.

Those who made considerations to the Police were released. Around 300 are being held in the Boosa detention camp.

The Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando said that 83 persons had been released up to yesterday. The Police was only trying to trace the terrorists.

He said the authorities never told any Officer-in-Charge to arrest Tamils. The authorities wanted the OICs to be vigilant of LTTE suspects in and around Colombo.

The Court said the petitioners are entitled to visit the detainees according to the arrangements available. The question of continued detention will be considered speedily.

The State is to decide on long-term detention orders by Decmber 13 and will have to notify the Court on December 14, 2007

These petitioners will be called again on December 10 and December 14, 2007.

M. A. Sumathiran appeared with Viran Corea for the petitioners. The Deputy Solicitor General, Shavindra Fernando appeared with Senior State Counsel Parinda Ranasinghe for the Attorney General.

The Court allowed the respondents, the Defence Minister and a few others to file their objection.

The Bench comprised the Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva Justice N. G.Amaratunga and Justice J. de S Balapatabendi.



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