"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
 
- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA

DETENTION WITHOUT
CHARGE OR TRIAL - 1979/83

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile" - Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

"Detainees...have been held for long periods, some for more than a year and a half and several for a longtime in solitary confinement. They have been held for many months before being brought before a judge. These practises contravene Article 9 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights which state that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention ...Minimum safeguards prescribed in the Sri Lanka Prisons Ordinance and in subsidiary legislation are denied to political detainees..." - Sri Lanka: Current Human Rights Concerns and Evidence of Extra Judicial Killings - Amnesty International Report, 1 June 1984


"...From time to time, opposition parties have been proscribed and some of their members imprisoned. Sometimes those detainees have, for periods, been held incommunicado, without access to either lawyers or relatives, amidst government allegations of the parties complicity in various suspected plots. So far no substantive evidence to substantiate such allegations, and no charges have been laid..." - Patricia Hyndman: Sri Lanka - Escalating Violence and Erosions of Democracy: Interim Report to Lawasia Human Rights Standing Committee March 1985


"There is no formal notification to the next of kin of a detainee that the person has been taken into detention... Even after the habeas corpus application has been heard, and an order made by the court for access to the detainee by his legal representatives, further obstacles are placed in the way of the legal representatives...

Often when the legal representatives attended at the nominated location, they would be informed that the detainee had been moved and that their order for access had no validity with respect to the place of detention..." - Ethnic and Communal Violence: The Independence of the Judiciary: Protection of Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law in Sri Lanka - Fragile Freedoms? - Report of an ICJ Mission to Sri Lanka in June 1983 - Timothy J.Moore

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