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‘Disappeared persons are in Sri Lankan detention camps’ claims released Tamil man

A Tamil man who spent almost 9 years in a Sri Lankan prison claimed that many Tamil youths who were forcibly disappeared remain in Sri Lankan custody.

Navaratnam Nishanthan, who was released from Boosa prison in December, told reporters in Vavuniya that during his time in custody, he saw many others Tamils held at the detention centre.

The 31 year old was arrested on April 26 2009 and held for almost 9 years. He was acquitted of all charges and released in December.

“Many Tamil mothers claim that their children have been subjected to enforced disappearance, but many of their disappeared children are still living in detention camps going through untold agonies,” said Nishanthan.

He went on to state that “prolonged torture while in detention in the past have traumatized them to lose their identity and consciousness”.

“I might face dire consequences for exposing this but they need justice. The government should take appropriate action in this case”.

Nishanthan, whose parents, two of his brothers and a sister were killed during the final stages of the armed conflict, said he himself had been tortured by Sri Lanka security forces.

“They subjected me brutal torture repeatedly,” he said.

“They have destroyed my life completely.”

See more from Colombo Mirror here. Also see a video of Nishanthan speaking to reporters below.

Families of the disappeared have been protesting on the streets of the North-East for more than one year, demanding the know the whereabouts of their forcibly disappeared loved ones.

Almost ten months ago protestors met with Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena and called on him to reveal the locations of all secret detention centres, as well as release a list of all those who surrendered to the military during the final stages of the armed conflict. Though the president pledged to do so, the promises remain unfulfilled. Instead, Mr Sirisena has come out and repeatedly denied the existence of secret detention centres.