Child feared abducted in Sri Lanka | The Children's Human Rights Network Blog | 8 Jul 2013 | Amnesty International UK

Child feared abducted in Sri Lanka

Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj, a 15-year-old Sri Lankan boy, has been missing since 13 June 2013, amid fears of abduction by unscrupulous individuals with connections to senior police officers.

On the morning of 13 June 2013 he left his home in Ukkulankulam, near Vavuniya, to go to school in Vavuniya, northern Sri Lanka.  This was usual routine for Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj, however on this occasion he neither arrived at school nor returned home. His family fears that he has been abducted, and he may be at risk of torture or extrajudicial execution. Despite complaints lodged with the local police by his family, the police have failed to investigate.

Two of his aunts went to look for him on the day of his disappearance and reported him missing to the police. However the police did not take the case seriously, refused to register the case and told her that he would eventually turn up.  His aunts returned to the police station the following morning to lodge a formal complaint, at which point they were assured by the police that they would visit the school to obtain a statement and a thorough investigation would be conducted.  However, the police failed to do so.

On 28 June 2013 at about midnight, a friend of the family who had been waiting at a bus stand in Vavuniya saw an auto-rickshaw pass by.  The occupants were four people, three men and a young boy with his hands bound behind his back.

He called Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj’s father and informed him of the sighting and his father hastened to meet him.  Together they waited for the rickshaw to return, which it did a short while later, however it was only carrying one of the men. The rickshaw stopped, dropped off the man and drove away.

Upon seeing this Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj’s father and his friend apprehended the suspect and took him to the Vavuniya police.  Surprisingly, when he was caught, the man boasted of having connections to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and senior police officers.  The actions of the police appear to substantiate the man’s boast as they turned away the boy’s father and his friend, saying it was too late at night to deal with the matter. The police therefore questioned the man themselves, asking him to describe the boy in the rickshaw. The man described the boy as having a red scar on his ear and lip, just like Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj.

Despite having identified the man as a suspected abductor, the Vavuniya police failed to call him in for questioning and have also failed to conduct any investigation to date. When question by the family as to why they were not conducting an investigation, they simply replied “we are awaiting the return of our Senior Inspector for further instructions. The family suspects that Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj may have been abducted by people with connections to political figures and senior law enforcement officials.

Please write immediately in English or your own language:

* Calling on the Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities, who are under the direct supervision of the Defence Secretary, to immediately launch an urgent, thorough and transparent investigation into the alleged abduction of Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj, and keep his family informed of all efforts to determine his whereabouts.

 

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 15 AUGUST 2013 TO:  (Time difference = GMT + 5.5 hrs / BST + 4.5 hrs)

Inspector General of Police
N K Illangakoon
New Secretariat, Colombo 1
Sri Lanka
Fax: 0094 11 244 0440 (keep trying)
Email: igp@police.lk
Salutation: Dear Inspector General

Defence Secretary
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
Ministry of Defence and Urban
Development
15/5, Baladaksha Mawatha,
Colombo 03, Sri Lanka
Fax: 0094 11 254 1529 (keep trying)
Email: secdef@sltnet.lk
Salutation: Dear Defence Secretary

 

President
Mahinda Rajapaksa
Presidential Secretariat
Colombo 1 Sri Lanka  
Fax: 0094 11 244 6657 (keep trying)
Email: prsec@presidentsoffice.lk / lalith@icta.lk
Salutation: Your Excellency

 

His Excellency Dr Chrisantha Nicholas Anthony Nonis, High Commission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, 13 Hyde Park Gardens, London W2 2LU

 

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