SRI LANKA: Innocent man abducted by Blue Police Van in the heart of Colombo
Posted on October 19th, 2017

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information regarding Mr. Nalaka Danushka Kumara (33) of Moragasmulla, Rajagiriya. He is a resident in the Rajagiriya Police Division. He was abducted by a group of powerfully-built men in a Blue Van at 7 p.m. on 15 October 2017. Relatives of the victim lodged a complaint with the Police who did not take the necessary steps to investigate the crime. A relative pointed out that the Blue Van had the symbol of ‘POLICE’ on it. Later, Police brought the victim back to his house, showed his relatives that he is alive and admitting that Nalaka is in custody. A series of cases of White Van Abductions and reported disappearances during the last thirty years in Sri Lanka have shocked the entire country. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) seriously recommends that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney General take strict and concrete action to end this barbaric practice of abductions. It directly violates fundamental freedoms and the democratic rights of its citizens.

Case Narrative:

Nalaka Danushka Kumara (33) of Moragasmulla, Rajagiriya is a resident in Rajagiriya Police Division in Colombo District. Nalaka is married and the father of a 3 month-old baby girl.

On 15 October, 2017, at 7 p.m. Nalaka was at Ward Place in Colombo 07 about to enter the shopping mall. Two husky men approached, forcefully holding him in place by pinning both his arms at the side of his body. They searched his pants pockets and finding northing dragged him to a Blue Van parked near a group of seven well-built adult men. Nalaka’s relatives who were with him were afraid at seeing what was taking place before their eyes. They implored the abductors not to harm their relative and release him. No attention was paid to their pleas and the abductors left with Nalaka in custody.

The next morning, Nalaka’s relatives checked out Rajagiriya Police Station, Borella Police Station, Cinnamon Garden Police Station and several other Police Stations in the Colombo area. They filed a complaint about the abduction at the Rajagiriya Police Station. Officers recorded only the statement of Nalaka’s wife.
Even though relatives waited around to find out more information about what was being done to Nalaka, they were not told anything.
Although relatives re-visited the Police Station several times, the Police were not forthcoming. They did not explain if there were any successful steps in the investigation to date.

As a last resort, the relatives approached the National Media, alerting them to the present state of affairs in the abduction of their relative. At 12 noon 17 October 2017, the Media directly questioned the Police Media Spokesman as to progress in the investigation.

Bravely, one correspondent openly questioned a Policeman. The Police are responsible for this abduction as there is an eye witness who says that there was a ‘POLICE’ symbol in the Blue Van in which Nalaka was abducted. The spokesperson vociferously denied any involvement of the Police in this case. He explained in detail. If a victim was arrested by the Police, he would immediately be given the reason for the arrest and the Warrant would be produced followed by notification of the next of kin. Police never keep detainees more than 24 hours as specified by the Law. Considering the aforementioned circumstances, the Spokesperson vehemently denied the fact that the Police had arrested or abducted the person in question.

Fortunately at 5:30 p.m. on the same day, several Moratuwa Police Station Officers brought Nalaka back home and showed his relatives that he was alive. But, they immediately brought him back to the Police Station. When relatives questioned the Officers, they admitted to the fact that they arrested and detained Nalaka. When the plucky relatives refuted the Officers for breaching procedural laws in arresting and detaining the victim, the Officers simply laughed, admitting their behavior.

Considering the above mentioned facts, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) raises the two following important questions for the Sri Lankan State Authorities. It is very clear that, in the nature of the abduction, it has been conducted by the Police. The detainee was kept in custody in an unrecognized Detention Center and incarcerated beyond the specified time period prescribed by Law. We query the Inspector General of Police (IGP) as to HOW he is investigating this crime.

Abducting innocent people is a routine, not accepted practice in Sri Lankan society. Police, Law Enforcement Authorities and Paramilitary Groups have ALL been involved in this type of crime. The AHRC is seriously challenging the IGP and the Attorney General to take stern action as quickly as possible. Realistic, pragmatic and collective measures are urgently needed to stop these abductions, reassure the public and bring responsible perpetrators before the Courts.

Suggested Action:

Please send letters to the Authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case. Request an immediate investigation into the abduction of an innocent man by Police Officers. Prosecute those proven to be responsible. The Officers involved should face an internal investigation for breach of Police Departmental Orders.

To support this case, please click here:

 

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: Innocent man abducted by a Blue Police Van in the heart of Colombo
Name of Victims: Nalaka Danushka Kumara (33) of Moragasmulla, Rajagiriya is a resident in Rajagiriya Police Division in Colombo District
Alleged perpetrators: Officers attached to the Moratuwa Police Station
Date of incident: 15 October 2017
Place of incident: Borella Police Division

According to the information I have received Mr. Nalaka Danushka Kumara (33) of Moragasmulla, Rajagiriya is a resident in Rajagiriya Police Division in Colombo District. Nalaka is married and the father of a 3 month-old baby girl.

On 15 October, 2017, at 7 p.m. Nalaka was at Ward Place in Colombo 07 about to enter the shopping mall. Two husky men approached, forcefully holding him in place by pinning both his arms at the side of his body. They searched his pants pockets and finding northing dragged him to a Blue Van parked near a group of seven well-built adult men. Nalaka’s relatives who were with him were afraid at seeing what was taking place before their eyes. They implored the abductors not to harm their relative and release him. No attention was paid to their pleas and the abductors left with Nalaka in custody.

The next morning, Nalaka’s relatives checked out Rajagiriya Police Station, Borella Police Station, Cinnamon Garden Police Station and several other Police Stations in the Colombo area. They filed a complaint about the abduction at the Rajagiriya Police Station. Officers recorded only the statement of Nalaka’s wife.
Even though relatives waited around to find out more information about what was being done to Nalaka, they were not told anything.
Although relatives re-visited the Police Station several times, the Police were not forthcoming. They did not explain if there were any successful steps in the investigation to date.

As a last resort, the relatives approached the National Media, alerting them to the present state of affairs in the abduction of their relative. At 12 noon 17 October 2017, the Media directly questioned the Police Media Spokesman as to progress in the investigation.

Bravely, one correspondent openly questioned a Policeman. The Police are responsible for this abduction as there is an eye witness who says that there was a ‘POLICE’ symbol in the Blue Van in which Nalaka was abducted. The spokesperson vociferously denied any involvement of the Police in this case. He explained in detail. If a victim was arrested by the Police, he would immediately be given the reason for the arrest and the Warrant would be produced followed by notification of the next of kin. Police never keep detainees more than 24 hours as specified by the Law. Considering the aforementioned circumstances, the Spokesperson vehemently denied the fact that the Police had arrested or abducted the person in question.

Fortunately at 5:30 p.m. on the same day, several Moratuwa Police Station Officers brought Nalaka back home and showed his relatives that he was alive. But, they immediately brought him back to the Police Station. When relatives questioned the Officers, they admitted to the fact that they arrested and detained Nalaka. When the plucky relatives refuted the Officers for breaching procedural laws in arresting and detaining the victim, the Officers simply laughed, admitting their behavior.

Considering the above mentioned facts, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) raises the two following important questions for the Sri Lankan State Authorities. It is very clear that, in the nature of the abduction, it has been conducted by the Police. The detainee was kept in custody in an unrecognized Detention Center and incarcerated beyond the specified time period prescribed by Law. We query the Inspector General of Police (IGP) as to HOW he is investigating this crime.

Abducting innocent people is a routine, not accepted practice in Sri Lankan society. Police, Law Enforcement Authorities and Paramilitary Groups have ALL been involved in this type of crime. The AHRC is seriously challenging the IGP and the Attorney General to take stern action as quickly as possible. Realistic, pragmatic and collective measures are urgently needed to stop these abductions, reassure the public and bring responsible perpetrators before the Courts.

I request the intervention of your good offices to ensure that the Authorities listed below open an immediate investigation into this case. The Officers involved should also be subject to an internal investigation for breach of Police Department Orders.

Yours sincerely,

———————
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

  1. Mr. PujithJayasundara
    Inspector General of Police
    New Secretariat
    Colombo 1
    SRI LANKA
    Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877
    E-mail: igp@police.lk
  2. Mr. Jayantha Jayasooriya PC
    Attorney General
    Attorney General’s Department
    Colombo 12
    SRI LANKA
    Fax: +94 11 2 436421
    E-mail: ag@attorneygeneral.gov.lk
  3. Secretary
    National Police Commission
    3rd Floor, Rotunda Towers
    109 Galle Road
    Colombo 03
    SRI LANKA
    Tel: +94 11 2 395310
    Fax: +94 11 2 395867
    E-mail: npcgen@sltnet.lk or polcom@sltnet.lk
  4. Secretary
    Human Rights Commission
    No. 36, Kynsey Road
    Colombo 8
    SRI LANKA
    Tel: +94 11 2 694 925 / 673 806
    Fax: +94 11 2 694 924 / 696 470
    E-mail: sechrc@sltnet.lk

Thank you.
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

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2 Responses to “SRI LANKA: Innocent man abducted by Blue Police Van in the heart of Colombo”

  1. Sarath W Says:

    This is yet another incident of Ranil’s Gestapo police in action. No point in writing to the IGP. He too is a thug.

  2. SA Kumar Says:

    Ranil’s Gestapo police in action. – Mann…. this is waste than our VP’s police

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