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Sri Lanka: Abductions and unfair advantage

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

Sri Lanka: Abductions and unfair advantage held as matters falling outside Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission (HRCSL)

According to a report received by the Asian Human Rights Commission, the two complaints made by a final year Law College student D M T Jayaratne to the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC) have been rejected by the Commission in writing on the grounds that they do not come within its ambit. One of these complaints was about the abduction the law student's abduction. The HRCSL has taken a strange position that inquiring into such abductions do not fall within its mandate. The HRCSL is an institution created for the purpose of protecting human rights and it is supposed to function under the principle relating to National Institutions known as the Paris Principles.

The letter from the HRCSL in reply to Jayaratne's complaint (No. M R C 4051/ 2010), stating that the complaints do not come within its purview was not signed by a director.

Jayaratne made a complaint under the aforementioned reference to the HRC in regard of the leakage of the Commercial Law ii question (Open Book test) paper before the date of the examination which was held on December 3, 2010 and conducted by the Law College. In the complaint to the HRC he had alleged that when he made a complaint to the Keselwatte police on the same day under ref. M B B 81/39, he received constant murder threats from the Law College Registrar, demanding that he withdraw the complaint. Under Ref. M R C 796/2011, he also lodged another complaint with the HRC pertaining to his abduction on March 4, 2011 at about 8.00 a.m., by persons claiming that they were from the police, when he was at Boralesgamuwa. He was held in custody for 14 hours until 9.45 in the night when he was finally released by being taken and dropped at Delkande, Nugegoda.

The HRC in its reply stated, as these complaints are not subjects coming within its purview and there are no grounds to substantiate that any rights under the constitution have been violated, the complaint cannot be taken for trial.

On top of this, even a written registered complaint made by Jayaratne on March 7, 2011 to the Inspector General of Police regarding the heinous crime of his abduction and interrogation while being held in custody for 14 hours, had yet not been answered by the IGP despite the fact that nine days have elapsed.

This incident demonstrates that when it comes to political matters, there is no authority in Sri Lanka that dares or cares to investigate citizen's complaints. Some persons are considered to be above the law and institutions such as HRCSL and the IGP refuse to investigate such complaints.


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