A 13-year-old girl from the North who was injured by mortar shelling last December is to be examined by a medical consultant at the Anuradhapura Hospital, on an order from the Supreme Court.
The child, a victim of the last phase of the war, is currently being held with her family in a camp for internally displaced persons in Vavuniya.
The girl’s family has filed a fundamental rights petition asking the court to intervene and allow the child to be taken to a hospital where she can receive proper medical attention.
The petitioners, all from the same family, are Manikkarajah Sivapakiam, Sopika Surendranathan, Jeyarani Surendranathan Ponnusamy Surendranathan and Nesana Surendranathan.
Saliya Peiris, counsel for the petitioners, told court that the family members were displaced persons who had been forced to leave their home during intense fighting between the Sri Lanka Army and the LTTE. During the shelling, the family lost son Kishore, while 13-year-old daughter Sopika was badly injured.
The family has been living in the Saivaprakasa Vidyalaya IDP camp in Vavuniya since December 2008.
Counsel Peiris told court that the family had no ties with terrorists, and that there was no reason they should not be released from the camp and united with their relatives.
He said the family was of some standing, had relatives in Vavuniya and Colombo, and was in a position to give the child the medical attention that she required.
The court asked Senior State Counsel (SSC) Riyaz Hamza whether the petitioners were being detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), and if they were not, then why was the girl not being given proper medical attention.
The court directed the Senior State Counsel to instruct the judicial medical officer of the Anuradhapura Hospital to make available a consultant medical officer to examine the patient concerned.
In their petition the family has named as respondents the Grama Niladhari, Pattanchipuliyankulam; the Vavuniya Divisional Secretary; the Vavuniya Government Agent; the Wanni Army Commander, the IDP co-ordinator in Vavuniya, the Jaffna Army Commander, the IGP and the Attorney-General, among others.
The case will be heard on July 20.
The Bench comprised Justices Gamini Amaratunge, P. A. Ratnayake and Ms. C. Ekanayake.