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Many disappeared Tamil youths still alive in detention camps – detainee
Published Date: 16/04/2018 (Monday)

Many Sri Lankan Tamil youths who were made to disappear by force by the government Security Forces are still alive in detention camps without consciousness due to prolonged torture in the past, a released Tamil political prisoner revealed on Thursday.

Navaratnam Nishanthan, who was released from the notorious Boosa detention camp after being acquitted from all charges by a court December last year after nine long years, told reporters in northern Vavuniya town that many fellow Tamil prison inmates “remain unconscious due to prolonged torture while in detention” and “still living with untold agonies”.

The 31-year-old youth from Mullaitivu lost his parents during the final months of the war and two of his brothers and a sister died while being members of the Tamil Tigers.

Nishanthan said he was arrested on April 26, 2009 and was subjected to brutal torture repeatedly while in detention.

“They subjected me brutal torture repeatedly. They have destroyed my life completely. Many Tamil mothers claim that their children have been subjected to enforced disappearance, but many of their disappeared children are still living in detention camps going through untold agonies,” Nishanthan who is now living with his 85-year-old grandmother in Mullaitivu told reporters.

“Prolonged torture while in detention in the past have traumatized them to lose their identity and consciousness. I might face dire consequences for exposing this but they need justice. The government should take appropriate action in this case”.

Many Jaffna-based newspapers and other Tamil media outlets have given wider publicity to Nishanthan’s story at a time when the government has activated its Office of the Missing Persons (OMP).

Hundreds of mothers and relatives of the disappeared Tamil youth are staging a sit-in protest for over the past one year in Mullaitivu demanding the government to find out the whereabouts of their loved ones.

Both President Maithipala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have declared in public that thousands of Tamil youths who were made to disappear during and after the war were not among the living.

Establishing the OMP, Sri Lanka has categorically said that its findings would not give rise to any criminal and judicial prosecution.

 

Source: Colombo Mirror

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