Torture marks found on body

Place: Jaffna | Courtesy: TamilNet
| Date: 19981028

Rasanayakam Uthayakumar, 44, who was arrested by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) on October 23 at Nayanmarkaddu was handed over to the Jaffna hospital dead this afternoon. Jaffna D.M.O. said that there were indications on Uthayakumar's body that his left foot and right hand had been tied in chains.

Uthayakumar was arrested by the SLA at the Bharathy community centre sentry point at Nayanmarkaddu and was detained for interrogation at the army camp in the Gnanams hotel in Jaffna town his relatives said.

According to the relatives the army had told Uthayakumar's wife in Nayanmarkaddu yesterday that her husband would be released to today.

The SLA also instructed her to come with the local G.S at 10.00 a.m. today to be present at Uthayakumar's release.

However, when she turned up on time this morning she was told that Uthayakumar was ill and had been taken to the Jaffna hospital.

But at the hospital they found that Uthayakumar's body had been handed over by the army.

Uthayakumar was a painter the K.K.S. Cement factory in Jaffna.

Detainee's death declared as suicide

The coroner of Colombo, Edward Ahangama, who conducted the inquest into the death of Mr.Rasanayagam Uthayakumar,44, declared that he committed suicide by hanging himself. Uthayakumar was arrested by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) at Nayanmarkaddu in Jaffna on October 23. The SLA handed over his body to the Jaffna Hospital on October 28.

The Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Dr. Alwis who conducted the post-mortem in Colombo yesterday said in his report there were signs of internal wounds on posterior of the body, and he died of suffocation caused due to hanging.

Mr. Uthayakumar's body will be cremated in Colombo today. The body could not be transported to Jaffna as it is in a decomposed stage said sources.

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    Detainees body requires post-mortem

  • 29.10.1998: TamilNet:

    Protest over detainee's death
    [TamilNet, November 02, 1998 23:29 GMT]

    The Forum for Human Dignity (FHD) issued a statement today protesting over the Colombo coroners verdict on the death of Rajaratnam Uthayakumar who died in the Sri Lankan Army's custody in Jafna on October 27.

    Following is the full text of the statement:

    "The Forum for Human Dignity (FHD) seeks to lodge its protest, in the strongest possible terms, over the second custodial death, that occurred on 27th October, 1998 and this in Jaffna, within the last few months.

    The victim is a 42 year old familied man, Rajaratnam Udhayakumar by name.

    He was arrested on mere suspicion by the Army at their check post in Nallur on 23rd October 1998 and detained until the time of his death. It has been the practice in Jaffna to deny relations and friends to meet the detainees until brought to the Anuradhapura courts.

    The JMO in Jaffna is said to have refused to examine the body. It was therefore brought to Colombo and the post-mortem took place at the General hospital.

    The JMO's report states it was suicide by hanging. We suspect foul-play and therefore refuse to accept the verdict as the minimum safeguard for the safety and security of detainees in Jaffna, even under the Emergency Regulation, is not being observed.

    We demand that the entire procedure adopted be subjected to a high powered review to guarantee justice and prevention of recurrences.

    We also demand that as the civil Administration in Jaffna has been "restored" the right to detain people be exclusively handled by the police."