Tortured Tamil political prisoner interviewed

This video from the USA is called Sri Lankan Government Accused of Human Rights Abuses Near Civil War’s End.

By Athiyan Silva:

WSWS interviews tortured Tamil political refugee

30 July 2012

In April and May of 2009, the war waged by successive Sri Lankan governments since 1983 against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was coming to its brutal end with the crushing of the latter by the army.

President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government and its military intelligence, aided by Tamil paramilitary groups, began round-ups in the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps of anyone who had “even a small connection” with the LTTE.

More than 11,000 Tamils were arrested, many of them women and youth. After a few days of screening in IDP camps, they were separated and given minutes to gather their belongings before being sent to so-called rehabilitation centres.

According to the government, 5,000 of these prisoners have been released. But they remain under close military surveillance. More than 6,000 people are still in secret camps and the so-called rehabilitation centres. They have not been charged with any crime, but most have been in detention since the end of the war. Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), political prisoners in Sri Lanka can be held indefinitely without trial.

In May 2009, President Rajapakse boasted that the war was over and “LTTE terrorism” had been eliminated, but the arrests of “LTTE suspects” continue in the north and east, which are under military occupation. Last April 21, in the Trincomalee district, the security forces rounded up around 160 Tamil males and females from their houses for questioning. Thirty-eight people were detained under the PTA. They will be put through a year-long process known as “rehabilitation”.

Amnesty International reported on March 14, 2012: “People released from detention have remained under surveillance by intelligence forces. The Sri Lankan Army continues to have a large presence in the north and is deployed for civil policing. The Special Task Force (STF), an elite police commando unit with a history of human rights violations, remains active across the country. Former detainees have been harassed and rearrested, and physically attacked. Killings and enforced disappearances of newly released detainees have also been reported”.

Last week, WSWS reporters in Paris interviewed a former Tamil political prisoner, now 28. A few months ago, to save his life, he came to Europe as a political refugee. For security reasons we do not give his name. He was held in several different “rehabilitation” centres.

Australian government forcibly deports Tamil asylum seeker: here.

Tamil exiles in Britain voiced anger yesterday as David Cameron‘s motorcade purred through their homeland between photocalls with their persecutors: here.


Sri Lankan government moves to gag web sites: here.

11 thoughts on “Tortured Tamil political prisoner interviewed

  1. Teachers rally in Colombo

    Sri Lanka: Thousands of university teachers and trade unionists marched through the capital Colombo today to demand a 20 per cent pay rise and an increase in funding for education, amid a two-month strike.

    The strike has crippled state-run universities since June and the government indefinitely closed 13 of 16 campuses on Tuesday.

    In addition to the pay rise, teachers are demanding greater academic freedom and that 6 per cent of the country’s GDP be allocated for education.


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