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Govt. violates constitution by detaining Wanni I.D.P's charges Ranil

By Gihan de Chickera and Kelum Bandara

The government is acting outside the law and violating the Constitution by holding more than 250,000 displaced people at camps in the Wanni District, opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe charged yesterday.

Mr. Wickremesinghe who spoke during the emergency debate said no law in the country allowed the government to detain people in camps without detention orders.

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File photo shows a Sri Lankan Tamil girl at a makeshift hospital inside a camp complex in the north-AFP pic

“The regulations under the Public Security Ordinance made no provision for such detention,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said. “It is clear that Wanni citizens are not being held in government camps under any law. This is illegal. We have a government that is acting outside the law and violating the Constitution. We do not accept the argument the government is acting in the interest of displaced people.”

He said that under regulation 19 of the Public Security Ordinance the Defence Secretary must issue a detention order against a person suspected of being a threat to national security.

“Therefore if the government is going to hold 250,000 people under Regulation 19, there will have to be 250,000 separate detention orders. But no such detention orders in respect of these 250,000 people have been issued,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said.

He said the government had three months to identify LTTE members among the displaced people and 9,000 suspects had been identified and emphasized that those not suspected of any involvement with the LTTE must be free to leave the camps.

“All displaced people must be free to leave if they have alternate accommodation and there is no detention order against them under Regulations 19 which provides the right to resettle in their own villages,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said.

He said the government had refused permission for opposition MPs to visit the refugee camps, and urged parliament to rectify the situation and called for the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee to oversea the resettlement of the displaced people.

Meanwhile, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said in Parliament yesterday that the government was finding it hard to cope with the almost 300,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) because they had estimated that there were only 70,000 civilians in the Wanni when fighting broke out between the military and LTTE.

“The government stuck to their position that only 70,000 persons were in the Wanni, but more than 300,000 came out, proving the government figure to be inaccurate. Furthermore, the government sent food and essentials only for 70,000, and was totally unprepared for the 300,000 that came out,” said TNA leader R. Sampanthan during the debate on the Emergency in the House.

Mr. Sampanthan said the government did not seem to have the resources to resettle the IDPs expeditiously as only 8.5 percent of them had been resettled after three months.“The government gave a commitment to India, the UN and the International Community that the resettlement of IDPs would be 80 percent complete within 180 days,” said Mr. Sampanthan.

COURTESY:DAILY MIRROR

14 Comments

This has to be under PTA not PSO. The relevant sections are as follows

PART III
DETENTION AND RESTRICTION ORDERS
Detention orders
Sri Lanka: PREVENTION OF TERRORISM ACT Page 6 of 18‎
‎9. (1) Where the Minister has reason to believe or suspect that any person is connected with ‎or concerned in any unlawful activity, the Minister may order that such person be detained ‎for a period not exceeding three months in the first instance, in such place and subject to such ‎conditions as may be determined by the Minister, and any such order may be extended from ‎time to time for a period not exceeding three months at a time:‎
Provided, however, that the aggregate period of such detention shall not exceed a period of ‎eighteen months.‎
‎(2) (a) At any time after an order has been made in respect of any person under subsection ‎‎(1), the Minister may direct that the operation of such order be suspended and may make an ‎order under subsection (1) of section 11.‎
b. The Minister may revoke any such direction If he is satisfied that the person in respect of ‎whom the direction was made has failed to observe any condition imposed or that the ‎operation of the order can no longer remain suspended without detriment to public safety.‎

Also it is the Minister who is responsible not Defence Secretary, meaning the Minister of Defence, the President. If the President is acting against the constitution he could be impeached by parliment.

Posted by: Jury | September 10, 2009 10:17 PM

Ranil Wickremasinghe's comments on the refugee issue are beyond belief.These are refugees under the care of the United Nations.Is Wickremasinghe so stupid to thinke that the majority of Srilankans will believe his argument that these people are detainees. Would the UN take care of these camps if they are kept under detention?

Wickremasinghe's strategy is to get the maximum support from the pro LTTE Tamils by exploiting the refugee crisis.He is also expecting the vote of the refugees by exploiting their situation.He must be thinking, this voter base will get him over the line at the Parliamentary and the Presidential elections.

I am afraid this stratagy will back fire on him for several reasons. He is eroding his own credibility by making false statements on important issues confronting the country there by alienating the Sinhalese voters of his party.He is also letting down the thinking Tamils, who know the fallacy of his statements and realize that he hasn't got the honesty, vision and the commitment to deliver a peaceful and a prosperous future after the disastrous chapter of their lives under the LTTE.

Posted by: Praveen | September 11, 2009 03:28 AM

I have to agree completely here. These civilians (except LTTE caders) are free citizens in Sri Lanka and there is not any legal grounds to hold them like this. They may die walking among the mines but that is their choice. Goverment is not their nannny. Let them go.

Posted by: gamaya | September 11, 2009 03:53 AM

Lets belive Ranil, the guy who gave the country almost to Praba on a platter.

Posted by: Roshan | September 11, 2009 09:00 AM

Government need to take immediate action to resettle the vanni people. But Ranil is crying for nothing.Vallikamam people - those were evicted in the UNP government -still waiting to get back to their place for last 20 years,there are so many villagers not settle in eastern province.

Posted by: Kumar | September 11, 2009 09:35 AM

there is no hiden stragies as how
the the worst/ruthless srilankan forces,army/police/paramilitary forces defeated the LTTE,
international comminuty was banned from going in to cover the war, all jurnalists who exposed the truth was abducted and shot and killed/dissappers,many journalists have left the country as the fear of death warant given to these poor jounalists who try to expose the truths,media stations were bombed, then
they block all food and water from going
into the affected, put many,many life going into hunger, thousands and thousands
malnutritions babies, adults,
many , many schoolds, churches/temples,houses with people in them were then bombed using high military machines bought from
other terrorist country in resulting in over 80000 being killed/disappered. many young innocents children living in with no
hands/legs/ no parents, and livin in fear, who are being abducted and raped and murdered, like these srilankan army force try to solicit underaged gals in haiti who were caught and thrown out ./
where in there in home land, these worst ruthesless, barbarians srilanka governemnt foreces/army/police who continue to abduct many young children rape and murders, womans killed every day, young adults being killed. those who
does these worst crimes instead of being prosecuted, they are given high posts in army/police/. over 300000 people still being in living in poor conditions , in crowded . begging for food/water, young gals cant even go alone to washrooms, these army to to abduct for rape.
worst horrified crimes being commited by srilankan goverment forces/police/army on innocents people in srilanka. god be with them. while those goverment forces living in luxury life, whose those innocents tamils has to suffer.

Posted by: rita | September 11, 2009 10:13 AM

Shocking!!! Small children, as little girl above , are still suffering severe malnutrition in the concentration camps in Sri Lanka.

It seems to me that the government has no capacity or desire to handle this massive problem, little news so far has come out in the news papers in Sri Lanka; ; the rest of the world is kept in dark.

Unfortunately, the Monsoon is expected soon…
The flimsy tents in concentration camps don’t stand a chance…
http://www.tamileelamnews.com/news/publish/tns_11803.shtml

Posted by: Mawatha Silva | September 11, 2009 02:42 PM

People should remember how the then Govt acted post JVP insueaction in 1971. The detainees were given access to their families by providing them to write letters to their families. Limited family visits allowed. They were categorised acording to their involvement with JVP. Why cant the UNP go to courts against the violation of the constitution. One must remember the socalled leftists oposed these moves of MRS Sirmabandaranayke on this aproch.

Posted by: A.Silva | September 11, 2009 07:27 PM

Hey Rita your tunnel view of the situation is absurd. Where were you when LTTE barbarians were killing thousand over thousand of Muslim,Tamils and Sinhalese - Many were hack to death, shot indiscreminately,Where were you when brainwashed LTTE goons killed all balance minded, respected tamils among us. Ranil of course has proved how worth less he is by his own words and actions He represents International agencies who cannot tolerate a small country who wants to have an independent voice of their own issues. And now working overtime with simillar minded good for nothing idiots to promote the western international agenda. These fools should understand not to spit looking up.One thing Gov. should do is to get rid of empty headed, corrupt , big mouth, Ministers in the cabinet and their lousy officials. Other wise very soon these corrupt monkeys will erode the credibility of the Gov.

Of course I fully agree with Gamaya

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2009 11:18 PM

Hey Rita your tunnel view of the situation is absurd. Where were you when LTTE barbarians were killing thousand over thousand of Muslim,Tamils and Sinhalese - Many were hack to death, shot indiscreminately,Where were you when brainwashed LTTE goons killed all balance minded, respected tamils among us. Ranil of course has proved how worth less he is by his own words and actions He represents International agencies who cannot tolerate a small country who wants to have an independent voice of their own issues. And now working overtime with simillar minded good for nothing idiots to promote the western international agenda. These fools should understand not to spit looking up.One thing Gov. should do is to get rid of empty headed, corrupt , big mouth, Ministers in the cabinet and their lousy officials. Other wise very soon these corrupt monkeys will erode the credibility of the Gov.

Of course I fully agree with Gamaya

Posted by: Rabok | September 11, 2009 11:19 PM

Ranil is violating the UNP party constitution by forcefuly hanging on to the party leadership.

He can ,for the first time can serve the nation by quietly retiring from national politics.

Posted by: Gayan | September 12, 2009 05:57 AM

AT THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION all ANTI srilankan Cndidates will be dicharged from the National political arena .YOUR days are counted.............wait and see

Posted by: w.k.b.dissanayake | September 12, 2009 07:12 AM


One way of Ranil Wickremasinghe regaining his credibility as a leader and perhaps putting a stop to his reputation as a serial-loser will be to organize at least 50% of the people who vote for UNP and indeed others (1) going to the streets in their numbers and declaring their solidarity to free the Forcibly Detailed Persons (FDPs, as Mangala S describes) contesting the Govt description of IDPS. This will herald to the country and the world the two largest communities in the country are now prepared to forget the past and walk in hand to a New Future in peace and unity (2) shape the expressed outrage of the entire people against the unbearable Cost of Living by getting as many to go to the streets. Show the President the people are unhappy with fattened Cabinet Ministers like Champika Ranawake, Bandula Gunawardena, Dallas Allaperuma mocking at the people’s plight..

If the UNP had the gaul to do this on a failed Pada Yatra when a controversial and generally unpopular individual like SB Dissanayake – a proven enemy of the UNP - was jailed for insulting the judiciary, to which he appeared to be guilty, why can’t they do this for a cause in which most Sinhalese appear to agree with? The accompanying local and global publicity will unite the fractured UNP and show the country they are a power to be reckoned with – again.
Does Ranil have the nerve and the resolve of (late) Corazon Acquino who did this successfully in the Phillipines?

ISS

Posted by: Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan | September 13, 2009 12:38 PM

There are only Fifteen Thousands of civilians currently living in the safe zone

Sri Lankan government has been deliberately lying to the outside world about the number of civilians within the safe zone. Three months ago there were around 350000. 190000 have already left the safe zone which means there are still 160000 left there. But the government is telling the world that there are only 15000.

This brings real fears in the minds of the Tamil community that the Sri Lankan government is going mass murder Tamils and tell the world that they haven't done anything. There are reliable reports that the Sri Lankan forces have used chemical weapons against the rebels and civilians recently and killed more than six hundreds in one single day. Sri Lankan forces had even burned all the bodies of the victims therefore this has raised a real suspicion among the Tamils about the intention of Sri Lanka in lying to the world about the number of people in the safe zone.

---
If One think Ranil worry about the Tamil displaced people then think again.
one need to understand the mindset of sinhalese before they conclude anything. It was JR Jeyawardana told Daily telegrapah(11July 1983) the more presure i put on the tamils sinhalese are happy , really if i stave tamils sinhalese are very happy. sinhalese are very happy to see 300,000 tamils are locked up in the farm just like a animals. that alone a vote winner for Rajapaksha.
as a opposition it worry about vote bank. this is why Ranil is barking.
there is no genuine feelings there , if it is he would have questioned when 500,000 tamils in the war zone government continue to state there is only 60,000 people. and he helped rajapaksha to stave those people and helped to slaughter nearly 200,000 tamils.

even today hundreds of people are abducted by forces everyday and never return. and hundreds of under aged tamil girls are taken away by srilankan military officers to their homes in the name of to do servant works, only god knows what those girls are going through. did he question on any of those?

Posted by: mathan | September 21, 2009 08:36 AM

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