Monday, March 12, 2012

CHENNAI: Lankan Refugee on fast to draw CM’s attention


By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 11, 2012:
CHENNAI: Seeking  J Jayalalithaa’s attention for his release from Poonamallee Special Detention Camp, Jayamohan, a 29-year-old Lankan refugee, has been fasting for the past 10 days.
According to information trickling out of the camp, Jayamohan began his fast seeking the Chief Minister’s attention on March 1 and continuing with it despite his deteriorating health. With his pulse rate going down rapidly due to no intake of food for the past 10 days including water, a doctor who visited the camp in the evening advised the local authorities to admit him to hospital ‘without any delay.’
Acting on this advice, police personnel posted at the camp rushed Jayamohan (who was unconscious) to the Government General Hospital, Chennai, in an ambulance on Saturday evening.
According to a three-page letter sent out through the tahsildar, Jayamohan who is a resident of Mullaithivu was arrested in India in March 2009 for allegedly being involved in smuggling of medicines to Sri Lanka. He has been lodged in the Poonamallee Camp for the past two years since 2010. He was also lodged in Chengalpet Special Detention Camp for about a year in 2009. Jayamohan has sought his release (or relocation to a normal refugee camp) on the grounds that 12 out of 14 accused in that particular smuggling case were permitted by the state authorities to live in normal camps, while the same privilege has been denied him.
It may be noted that Jayamohan went on a similar fast last month as well and ended it after the authorities promised to release him within seven days. However, this did not happen and it has forced Jayamohan to re-launch the fasting agitation since March 1.
Meanwhile, about 25 Lankan inmates at the Chengalpet Special Detention Camp on Saturday sat on a one-day fast expressing their solidarity with Jayamohan.

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