Saturday, November 26, 2022

Sri Lankan court frees Tamil detainee

Colombo, March 10 (IANS) A Tamil activist was freed on conditional bail by a Colombo court on Tuesday, almost one year since her arrest.

Balendra Jeyakumari was arrested by police after a Tamil Tiger suspect was allegedly found in her house in the north of the country, reports Xinhua. She was, however, never charged over the crime.

Human rights groups in Sri Lanka and abroad called for her release as she was being detained without any charges.

She cannot, however, leave the country as part of the strict bail conditions given to her by the Colombo Magistrate Court on Monday.

Jeyakumari and her daughter Vidushika had actively participated in several protests in the Northern Province by families of those who disappeared during the dragging ethnic conflict that ended in 2009.

Jeyakumari’s two sons were killed in the war against the Tamil Tigers and the third went missing after she allegedly handed him over to the military in May 2009. Vidushika is her only remaining child.

The move by the court to release Jeyakumari came a week after the Sri Lankan government said it had decided to review the illegal arrests of suspects in recent years and those cleared of charges would be set free.

Several people had been arrested by police without charges following the end of a 30-year war between the Tamil Tigers and the military which ended in May 2009.

Sri Lanka’s main Tamil Political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), had also sought the release of the Tamil detainees as part of an agreement to support the new government at the last presidential elections.

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