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Feb-27-2012 19:22printcomments

SRI LANKA: A Tamil man of Indian origin Arrested, Tortured & Laid With Fabricated Charges Eye on the World Report.

N K Illangakoon
N K Illangakoon, Inspector General of Police in Sri Lanka, is asked by William Gomes to investigate ethnic arrests and torture of Tamil youth of Indian origin.

(SAYDABAD, Bangladesh) - Police began arresting Tamil youths of Indian origin in the Ukuwela area during the summer of 2008. Children were arrested over mere suspicion due to their ethnicity and detained indefinitely. One individual who was arrested, Navajeevan, says he was not given any explanation, and police had no arrest warrant. Without being accused of committing any particular crime, he was arrested out of mere suspicion as he was a Tamil of Indian origin. Then he was taken to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Kandy Headquarters Police Station and detained. Police of the TID severely torture him but still he was not given any reason for his arrest. Navajeevan was later able to identify two of the TID officers who tortured him, at times hanging him from the ceiling and severely beating the youth with poles.

Our goal with Eye on the World is to illustrate and highlight politically oriented problems and tragedies that traditional media channels don't have time or interest in covering.

The world has its own set of laws that were agreed upon by the ruling nations in 1948, and many people are not aware of this simple fact. At the root of the concept of world citizenry itself, is the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an overriding and supreme law that ensures many essential human rights that governments today fail to observe. Also central to any hope of human success, is the understanding of the human hierarchy of needs, as defined by Abraham Maslow- more information on this at the conclusion of this entry. We must use the Internet as a tool of justice at every junction, and we need to assist all human beings, everywhere, and not allow cultural, racial or religious preferences as determiners.

In this appeal, William Gomes asks N K Illangakoon, the Inspector General of Police, New Secretariat, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to urgently intervene and ensure that authorities investigate allegations of illegal arrest, illegal detention, police torture, and prosecute those responsible for misusing powers of state officers and for wrongful prosecution. The officers involved must also be the subjects of internal investigations.

February 27, 2012

Mr. N K Illangakoon
Inspector General of Police
New Secretariat
Colombo 1
Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877

Re: SRI LANKA: A Tamil man of Indian origin was arrested, tortured and laid with fabricated charges

Dear Inspector General of Police,

Name of the victim: Mr. A Navajeevan (27) of Rawatte Lower Division, Ukuwela in Matale District
Alleged perpetrator:
1. Police officer Ranaweera
2. Police officers Yatawara attached to the TID Branch of the Kandy Headquarters Police Station
Date of incident: 9 August 2008
Place of incident: TID Branch of the Kandy Headquarters Police Station

I am writing to express my serious concern over the case of Mr. A Navajeevan (27) of Rawatte Lower Division, Ukuwela in Matale District. Navajeevan is a motor mechanic by profession.

In the year 2008 Navajeevan was working in a garage named Sisira Motors which is located in his village. He had been working in this establishment since leaving school. Navajeevan has one younger sister who was still attending school at that time. He helped his parents and younger sister with their living expenses. Navajeevan had a three wheeler which he used for his personal transportation.

Around June of 2008 the police began to arrest Tamil youths of Indian origin in the Ukuwela area. The reason for the arrests was mere suspicion due to their ethnicity and they were detained indefinitely. Navajeevan was arrested on 9 August, 2008, while he was working in the garage. At the time of arrest he was not given any explanation, nor was he shown an arrest warrant. Further, he was not accused of committing any particular crime. He was the only person arrested among the many other mechanics working with him in the Garage. Navajeevan realised that he was being arrested out of mere suspicion as he was a Tamil of Indian origin.

Then he was brought to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Kandy Headquarters Police Station and detained. Three days after he was arrested, the officers of the TID started to severely torture him but still he was not given any reason for his arrest. Navajeevan was later able to identify two of the TID officers who tortured him as Yatawara and Ranaweera. Navajeevan was tortured by being hung from the ceiling and severely beaten with poles.

Then he was transferred to Galadera Police Station where he was detained for three months and later returned to the Kandy Headquarters Police Station where he was detained for a further six months. All of the interrogations were conducted at the offices of the TID and by TID staff. On each of these occasions Navajeevan was tortured. He was questioned about any relationship and any activity with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Navajeevan consistently denied any such relationship or activity and further stated that he knew nothing. He explained very clearly that he was from Ukuwela where he had been living his whole life, including his schooling and even his parents were also from the same area. He vehemently said that he knew nothing about the Northern and Easter Provinces and had at no time any connections with the people from those areas.

After several days of torture the TID officers forced Navajeevan to sign some blank papers, the purpose fo which was not explained to him. As is common in similar situations he was in fear of further torture and signed the documents as instructed. Navajeevan further states that his signature was taken to these blank papers by the very same officers who severely tortured him and that at no time was he produced before any doctor or any senior police officers or judicial officer before signing the blank papers.

Navajeevan was finally produced before the Magistrate of Kandy on the 7 May 2009 after almost nine months and remanded at the Bogambara Remand Prison. Several days after he signed the papers Navajeevan was shown to an ordinary doctor after he complained of severe headache and pain.

Later Navajeevan leaned that the TID officers have filed three cases in the Kandy Magistrate’s Court and another four cases at the Panwila Magistrate’s Court against him. He learned that a further two cases had been filed in the Kandy High Court against him by the Attorney General. He learned that the cases numbers were HC/93/2009 and HC/211/2011. He further learned that in these cases he has been accused for aiding and abetting activities of the LTTE.

Navajeevan states that he has never engaged in any such activity and has never known any person attached to that organization. He further states that he has never committed any crime and that, according to his knowledge, no one had made any complaint against him at any time

At the time of writing Navajeevan remains in the same prison without trial. Navajeevan has never been provided proper medical treatment for the injuries suffered after being subjected to severe torture. He vehemently denies all the charges made against him.

I request your urgent intervention to ensure that the authorities listed below instigate an immediate investigation into the allegations of illegal arrest, illegal detention, torture by the police perpetrators, and the prosecution of those proven to be responsible under the criminal law of the country for misusing powers of state officers and for wrongful prosecution. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of the department orders as issued by the police department.

Yours sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes
William’s Desk

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

As children we are educated in right and wrong, we are told how to conduct ourselves; we learn both expectations and limitations, and from that point we go forth with these tools, and our individual personalities, and fail or succeed accordingly.

In school we quickly understand that without paper, there is no place to write. Once we have paper, a pen or pencil is required to move to the next point. There is a great analogy that exists between this simple concept of paper and pen, and what we know today as Maslow's hierarchy of needs- the theory in psychology proposed in Abraham Maslow's 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation.

He demonstrated how without the correct necessities, a person can do little good for themselves, and has none to offer for others. However when people are housed and have clothing, heat, food, health and security, anything is possible. However if just one of these dynamics is removed from the mix, the chance for success can be adversely affected.

Wikipedia describes Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a pyramid consisting of five levels:

The lowest level is associated with physiological needs, while the uppermost level is associated with self-actualization needs, particularly those related to identity and purpose.

The higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus when the lower needs in the pyramid are met. Once an individual has moved upwards to the next level, needs in the lower level will no longer be prioritized. If a lower set of needs is no longer be met, the individual will temporarily re-prioritize those needs by focusing attention on the unfulfilled needs, but will not permanently regress to the lower level.

For instance, a businessman at the esteem level who is diagnosed with cancer will spend a great deal of time concentrating on his health (physiological needs), but will continue to value his work performance (esteem needs) and will likely return to work during periods of remission.

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Packian February 28, 2012 5:27 am (Pacific time)

Soon,the arrested man will be released and then "disappear".Disapparences are common.

Christopher Kay February 27, 2012 9:37 pm (Pacific time)

This is a real case in point where this man has come up with a nicely cooked up story to coincide with the affairs of human rights that currently goes on in Eurpoe. Good try! But the intelligent readers will know what to believe.

Editor: So you are sitting in your armchair claiming the story isn't true?  I know that it is Christopher,  so you don't need to worry about that.  This story is part of our 'Eye on the World' series and part of the regular flow, Ceylon is not being singled out, now if you want to know which stories I hope personally that members of the UNHCR in Geneva read, you are more likely talking about these:

Tweets from Tamil Eelam

Two of Sri Lanka's Foulest War Crimes

Tamil Genocide Explored in Sri Lanka's Killing Fields

Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka Emerges Into Public View

World Ignores Genocide of Sri Lanka's Tamil Population

That last article is probably our most viewed article, certainly among the Sri Lanka articles.  Thanks, really; if you hadn't reminded me, I would not have thought to list these links that tell a story of violence and depravity with few parallels.  Thanks for helping the Tamils Christopher.  

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