Trinco killing, Mervyn, BBS comes up at UNHRC

The killing of five students in Trincomalee, the religious tensions raised by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and comments made by Minister Mervyn Silva were mention by non-governmental organisations at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today.

Speaking just before the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report on Sri Lanka was adopted, the father of one of the students killed in Trincomalee in 2006, broke down in tears and demanded justice for his son’s murder.

Dr Kasippillai Manoharan, the father of Ragihar, apologized to the Council as he struggled to speak while making his speech.

The Trincomalee massacre in 2006 took place when five Tamil high school students playing by the beach were briefly detained and then shot dead.

Meanwhile an NGO raised concerns over the threats posed to religious freedom in Sri Lanka as a result of the statements and actions of the Bodu Bala Sena.

One NGO also raised concerns about the comments made by Minister Mervyn Silva last year where he had said that he will  “break the bones” of human rights activists Sunanda Deshapriya, Nimalka Fernando and Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu.

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe then spoke and asked why no one is speaking about the LTTE and instead targeting only the government. He said the LTTE killed several innocent people including children.

He said that as far as the Trincomalee incident goes the government is investigating the incident and it needs time and space.

The Minister recalled his statement made earlier where he had said that subsequent to the recommendations of the LLRC, the Attorney-General reviewed the cases relating to the five (5) students from Trincomalee and of the Action Contre La Faime (ACF) workers. Having concluded the work on the five students from Trincomalee, the Attorney-General has directed the Police to commence Non-Summary Judicial proceedings. The review with regard to the ACF case is also ongoing. (Colombo Gazette)