Friday, May 29, 2009

Lankan Tamil detainees languish in spl camps

Published Date: 18/04/2009 - (NIE)

G Saravanan

Chennai, April 17: EVEN as the world expresses its solidarity and anguish for the suffering of the Sri Lankan Tamils trapped in the conflict zone across the Palk Strait, no one - not even the smalltime politicians in the State - have tried to understand the agony of the Sri Lankan Tamils, who have been detained in State-run special camps under flimsy grounds for years.

According to sources, two such special detention camps for Lankan Tamil refugees -- Poonamalle and Chengalpattu -- have nearly 100 Tamils, allegedly detained for having links with the banned outfit, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Speaking to Express, one of the Tamil detainees said that they were denied of basic human rights. “Though most of us wanted to clear our names legally, we never got an opportunity, since the police officials were not co-operative,” the detainee added. “Most of the members are not connected to the LTTE and its activities.

When a Sri Lankan Tamil was arrested, the first task of the Q Branch was to ‘create circumstantial evidence’ to show that the person was linked to the LTTE, and used by the organisation to procure materials in Tamil Nadu for them,” said S Manoharan, a lawyer who represented a few victims in the Madras High Court.

“If you accept that they were indeed connected to LTTE, they should have been convicted. But no one in the camp was convicted,” Manoharan added. Sources said that Q-Branch took a long time to file charge sheets against them.

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