Author Topic: Cablegate:Brother Of Tamil Mp Survives Abduction But Still Under Threats  (Read 980 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

enrica

  • Guest
Sri Lanka: Brother Of Tamil Mp Survives Abduction But Still Under Threat
OriginEmbassy Colombo (Sri Lanka)
Cable timeThu, 23 Apr 2009 11:09 UTC
ClassificationCONFIDENTIAL
Sourcehttp://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/04/09COLOMBO457.html

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 000457
 
SIPDIS
 
DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/23/2019
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL MOPS CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: BROTHER OF TAMIL MP SURVIVES ABDUCTION BUT STILL UNDER THREAT
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR ROBERT O. BLAKE, JR. REASONS: 1.4(b,d).
 
¶1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Urban planner Selvarajah Raveendran,
brother of a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Member of
Parliament, was abducted in front of eyewitnesses at a
checkpoint in a high-security zone by unformed policemen and
others in civilian clothes on March 24.  At the request of
the victim's brother, Ambassador intervened with Presidential
Advisor Basil Rajapaksa on March 30 requesting assistance in
getting Raveendran released.  On April 8, Raveendran was
released and returned to his brother's house.  He met with
Ambassador on April 21 and described beatings, torture and
forced medication at the hands of his captors, who he said
were with military intelligence.  On April 23, Raveendran
contacted Embassy and reported he was being followed and had
received phone threats.  End summary.
 
¶2.  (C) Sri Lankan media reported that Jaffna University
Lecturer Selvarajah Raveendran, brother of Jaffna MP S.
Kajendren of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was abducted
in front of eyewitnesses at a checkpoint in a high-security
zone by uniformed policemen and others in civilian clothes on
March 24.  Ambassador raised the case with Senior Advisor
(and brother) to President Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa,
following a request by Kajendran. On April 8, media reported
Raveendran's release.  His brother called Ambassador to thank
him and confirm the release.
 
¶3.  (C) Raveendran visited the Embassy to speak to the
Ambassador and Pol Chief on April 21.  Raveendran recounted
the circumstances of his abduction, and said that he was then
blindfolded and taken to an isolated location about 1 1/2
hours' drive from Colombo. There he was awakened at about
2:30 am and beaten by several men while still blindfolded.
Later he was hung upside down and beaten.  Raveendran
reported that the captors verbally abused him.  They told him
that his brother Kajendran, who has sought refuge in Norway,
was to blame for disclosing information about civilian deaths
and casualties in the current military campaign and making
statements to the media against the government.  They told
Raveendran that his brother should resign as an MP, or he,
his brother and the entire family would be killed.
Raveendran reported being held naked for several days in an
extremely hot room and being forced to take medication.
 
¶4.  (C) According to Raveendran, his captors spoke to each
other in Sinhala and referred to each other by military
ranks.  He believes that they were all members of military
intelligence, he said.  A few days before his release, he
said Minister of Foreign Employment (and government defense
spokesman) Keheliya Rambukwella visited the house where he
was being kept.  (Note: there have been previous reports that
this minister's security detail was involved in other
abductions.  Raveendran was still blindfolded during
Rambukwella's visit but said that his captors identified him
by name in discussions he overheard.) When his captors
released him in a Tamil neighborhood in south Colombo, they
warned him strictly against filing any complaints with the
police, the Red Cross, the Sri Lankan Human Rights
Commission, or going to a hospital for treatment.  They also
said that his brother should stop speaking out on conflict
issues or they would "destroy the whole family."
 
¶5.  (C) On April 23, Raveendran contacted the Embassy to
report that he was being surveilled and followed by men on
motorcycles.  Further, he received a phone call on the
evening of April 22 demanding to know why he had visited the
U.S. Embassy and the Red Cross.  He was warned that he had
not been observing the conditions laid down for his release.
Further, his brother should be silent about the conflict, or
he (Raveendran) would pay the price.
 
¶6.  (C) COMMENT: The incident is one of the fuller accounts
we have received from the survivor of an abduction.  It is
 
COLOMBO 00000457  002 OF 002
 
likely that the international notoriety of the case helped
save the victim's life.  Embassy assesses that the risk to
Raveendran is extreme and is attempting to assist in
relocating him temporarily abroad.
BLAKE
***

Source/Full cable: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/04/09COLOMBO457.html