ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 42

More pressure urged to stop abductions

The Civil Monitoring Committee wants the diplomatic community to exert more pressure on the Government to prevent abductions and demands for ransom, mainly in the Western Province amidst fresh allegations that Pettah hardware businessmen were being extorted.

The Committee this week urged Germany, the current Chairman of the European Union and India to take up with the Government, issues connected with the increased number of disappearances reported in the Western Province.

Convener of the group Mano Ganeshan told The Sunday Times as many as 100 cases of abductions remain unresolved and said it was hoped the campaign would be continued by meeting other Colombo based diplomats and calling for the international community to intervene.

Mr. Ganeshan met Indian High Commissioner Alok Prasad regarding disappearances and cases demanding ransom.

The Committee representatives made the request when they called on German Ambassador Juergen Weerth this week as part of their programme to brief Colombo based diplomats about the cases of disappearances and abductions taking place in and around the city.

The Committee told the Ambassador it had documents relating to 67 cases of disappearances reported within the City where there has been no trace of those who have gone missing and wanted Germany to take up the issue with the Co-Chairs consisting of the EU, US, Japan and Norway.

“We want them to bring pressure on the Government so that the abductions come to a halt, the missing people traced and justice is done”, Jaffna district Member of Parliament Suresh Premachandran told The Sunday Times.

He said Government intelligence units and paramilitary groups must be blamed for the abductions.

He said police evidence and other information had emerged about the groups responsible and the government should act speedily to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

“We have been raising these issues in Parliament during emergency debates and during adjournment debates, but we have not got a clear response or a direct answer from any responsible minister. That is the reason we have decided to take up the matter with the diplomatic community.

The members of the Committee have already met the US Ambassador and the British High Commissioner.

UNP representative in the Committee, MP Lakshman Kiriella, Mano Ganeshan and chairman Sirithunga Jayasuriya met the German Ambassador.

The Committee also raised the issue about the plight of the displaced persons in Batticaloa saying the number of displaced had now shot up to 140,000 while the Government had not been able to provide relief to them.

Among the cases of abductions compiled by the Committee:

  • Satsothi Soruban (44) abducted by armed men at Manning Place Wellawatte on February 1 at 7 p.m. Mr. Soruban who had recently returned from Britain was visiting his parents at the time of his abduction. His father had lodged a complaint with the Wellawatte police
  • Palanisamy Suresh (28) of 43/35, Bonjean Street, Kotahena was forcibly taken away by four armed men who visited his home on February 1, at 8 p.m. Suresh is the son of Palanisamy, owner of Annapoorna Hotel in Colombo.
  • Subramaniyam Ravi (26) was kidnapped outside his mobile phone shop at No. 36, Kadiresan Street, Pettah on January 28 at 8 p.m. A police complaint has been lodged with the Pettah police. This incident is linked to the kidnap and release of Ravi’s employee a week ago.
  • Nadaraja Vijayakumar (55), a trader dealing in foreign currency residing at Perera Lane, Wellawatte was abducted by armed men in a white coloured van near Perera Lane on January 31 at 8 p.m. when he was returning home. A complaint has been lodged with the Wellawatte police.
  • Yogaraj Madanraj (26) was arrested by Kotahena police on January 28. He was subsequently cleared of any unlawful connections and released on January 30 at 7 p.m. When Madanraj was walking away from the police station to his residence, he was picked up by men who came in a white coloured van, less than 100 yards from the Kotahena police station.
  • Two brothers of the same family S.N.Ketheeswaran (31) and S.N. Kanapathy Nadar (27) of 328/9, Aluthmawatte Road, Colombo 15 who jointly run a transport business were abducted by unknown persons on January 10.
  • Thangavelu Mayooran (23), a Tamil youth employed at a communication centre on Galle Road, Wellawatte was abducted by persons identifying themselves as CID officers who had come in a white coloured Hiace van. The abduction had occurred at Mayooran’s work place on Friday, December 22 at 11.30 p.m. A complaint has been lodged at Wellawatte police by Mayooran’s family.
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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.