Govt. told to ensure prisoner safety after LTTE suspect’s death


Human rights advocates, civil societies and political parties have asked the Government to ensure the safety of prisoners, following the death of an LTTE suspect Ganesan Nimalaruban who was injured in the prison clash in Vavuniya and succumbed to his injuries last Tuesday.
Members of the Civil Monitoring Commission, Tamil National Alliance and other groups faxed a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa requesting that the body of Nimalaruban be handed over to his family in Vavuniya for the last rites. The body is presently at the Ragama Teaching Hospital mortuary.

After the crisis: Police and STF personnel involved in securing the grilles in the prisons complex.Pix by Priyantha Hewage

They have also asked the Government to conduct an impartial investigation into the cause of his death.
The LTTE suspect was injured during the Vavuniya prison incident that began on June 28, when three prison guards were taken hostage by 32 LTTE suspects.

TNA MP Suresh K. Premachandran told the Sunday Times that the incident began when the prisoners went on a hunger strike protesting the transfer of three prisoners to Boosa. The situation escalated to the hostage crisis after Prison officials forced the prisoners to end their fast.
MP Premachandran alleged that the commandos fired at least 13 tear gas cannisters at the prisoners and they were badly beaten up.

Following the incident, all inmates at the Vavuniya prison were transferred to Anuradhapura, Kandy Bogambara and Colombo Mahara prisons.
The Government said that prisoners had in their possession various communication devices, cash and makeshift weapons, and faced with a hostage situation, defensive action had to be taken. Meanwhile, the UNP, in a statement, said that, “the Government should not try to thrust problems and violence on Tamils.”

Government Spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella refused to comment on the case.

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