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Treatment of detainees at Welisara Navy camp detention barrack comes under fire
Published Date: 09/01/2019 (Wednesday)

By Niranjala Ariyawansha

A group of Navy officers who had been apprehended on charges of deserting the Force due to various reasons as well as another group of Navy officers who had been nabbed for having allegedly flouted rules and regulations, are being allegedly held at a Detention Barrack at the Welisara Navy Camp without basic facilities, Ceylon Today reliably learns.

A Navy officer who freed himself from the Detention Barrack having paid a fine for flouting regulations, told Ceylon Today, yesterday (8).

He further said that among those held at this Detention Barrack were those who had deserted Navy duty, those who fled after committing various crimes before being arrested by Police.

“Those who are held at this Detention Barrack are only provided with a pair of shorts. None of us were provided with either a shirt or a T-Shirt to cover our upper bodies. They also force us to sleep on the cement floor without even giving us a mat. The Navy is taking a lengthy period to carry out inquiries against each of these Navy officers. During that time we are compelled to stay here without even the basic facilities”, he said and had pity over his fellow officers’ ordeal.

When contacted, Navy Media Spokesman Commander, Isuru Sooriyabandara said some 70 officers were being held on charges of having flouted its rules and regulations.

However, he denied the allegation that the Detention Barrack was a torture camp.

He added that they had refrained from providing any shirts, T-Shirts or bed sheets for the officers to sleep, due to some officers using these to either commit suicide or even to escape from the camp.

“However, most allegations are untrue. All these Navy officers being detained are those guilty of flouting rules and regulations. We are taking action against them based on the Navy Act and the Detention Regulation Gazette published on 28 January 1994. 

It is true that it takes a fairly long time for the probes against all of them to be completed. We are conducting these probes having considered them as being on duty here. Also in the Gazette it has been clearly stated as to what facilities should be given to those who violate laws and regulations of the Navy,” said Commander Sooriyabandara. He repudiated claims that those being held at the Detention Barrack were not provided with basic facilities.

He however said that he was not aware that even a mat was not being provided for officers to sleep on and promised to look into the matter.

He noted that special attention was being given to officers apprehended by  Police having fled the Navy due to various reasons.

Source: Ceylon Today

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