Colombo court wants to transfer cases of 38 Tamil prisoners to courts in Sinhala suburb
SL Attorney General’s Department, which has been trying to transfer the cases of Tamil political prisoners away from the courts in the North and East, is now applying the same tactic also in Colombo by attempting to transfer the cases from Colombo Court to Homagama, an all-Sinhala area situated 30 km southwest of Colombo city, Tamil lawyers in Colombo said. The cases of 38 Tamil political prisoners are going to be transferred to the courts in Homagama and it will not be easy for the Tamil detainees and their families to secure Tamil-speaking lawyers, who are prepared to travel from Colombo to Homagama, says TNA Parliamentarian Mr Charles Nirmalanthan.
Even the Sinhala lawyers in Homagama will be reluctant to take the cases of the Tamil prisoners without demanding huge sums. In addition, the detainees will be facing security threats in an all-Sinhala environment, where they would be branded as Tamil Tigers.
The kith and kin of Tamil political prisoners who travel to Colombo will also face harassments and difficulties.
The ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division operating from Colombo has been trying to frame new cases against Tamil political prisoners as many of the confessions submitted in the courts earlier have been dismissed as these were obtained under torture. The confessions were also in a language not understood by the Tamil prisoners.
Tamil prisoners have been facing security threats in the South since 1983 July when 53 Tamil political prisoners were massacred inside Welikada. There have been several fatal assaults, reports of torture and ill-treatment in Anuradhapura, Vavuniyaaand in several other prisons in the south. 28 Tamil detainees were killed inside the Bindunuwewa detention centre in the South in 2000.