HRC officials check police building for Lalith and Kugan

By Chris Kamalendran

Officials of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) made a surprise visit to the Police Welfare Building at Pettah on Friday following information that two members of the JVP dissident group who went missing in Jaffna last December were being held there.

A commission official said the visit was made following a tipoff received from a member of the dissident group that the two men were being detained in this building. However, they were not there.

Human Rights activist Ruki Fernando said he received the information about the two men being detained and had called the HRCSL hotline to pass on the information. It was then brought to the notice of Samanthi Jayamanna, Director of Investigations and Inquiries at the HRC. The search came after that.
Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana denied the allegations that the two men were being detained at the Welfare Building. “Anyone is free to visit the building and inspect it. No one is being detained there,” he said.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) website reported yesterday quoted the Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission as saying that the action taken by Australia to locate Kumara Gunaratnam, who is an Australian national, had triggered the news about the whereabouts of Lalith Weeraraju and Kugan Muruganandan who were abducted in Jaffna in December last year.
The two men are also members of the JVP dissident group. Party members said they had no news of the men since their disappearance in December.

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