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Stop Custodial Deaths in Sri Lanka

The incidents of extrajudicial killings and custodial deaths in Sri Lanka are now almost a daily occurrence and the story presented to the Magistrate by the Sri Lankan Police Service is always similar. Either they were shot while trying to escape or the police were taking the culprit to a weapons cache when he turned on them with a weapon of some description, amazingly, usually a hand grenade.

It is uncertain as to what is more ludicrous, the fact that the police never bother to change their story or the fact that they honestly believe the citizens of Sri Lanka are so gullible they will believe them. Unfortunately, they do not care about the opinions of the citizens, only the Magistrate who has no independent witnesses and can only take the word of the officers reporting the case.

The Inspector General of Police, Secretary of the Ministry of Defense and the President must be told by the international community that they are being held responsible, not only for the deaths but also the lack of any credible investigations and the denial of justice to the victims and their families.

Please sign the petition to send a clear message to the government of Sri Lanka.

The petition letter:

Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse
Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka
C/- Office of the President
Temple Trees
150, Galle Road
Colombo 3

Fax: +94 11 2472100 / +94 11 2446657

Dear President Mahinda Rajapakse,

The situation of extrajudicial killings and deaths occurring at police stations throughout Sri Lanka has reached epidemic proportions with incidents happening on an almost daily basis. Independent investigations are never carried out and the only witnesses to the event are the police officers themselves who testify before the locale magistrates thereby exonerating themselves of any wrongdoing.

We call upon the government of Sri Lanka to put an immediate end to the needless deaths and suffering caused by this criminal action on the part of the Sri Lankan Policing Service.

The government must:

  1. Make effective instructions to the Inspector General of Police to stop all killings that take place at police stations and take effective measures to bring this practice to an end.

  2. Hold the Officers-in-Charge and the immediate Assistant Superintendent of Police of the area responsible for all deaths occurring at the police stations under their control.

  3. Seek the advice of the Attorney General's Department on effective measures against police officers responsible for such actions.

  4. Reactivate the Special Unit of Investigation of the Criminal Investigation Division in order to investigate all cases of torture and extrajudicial killings at police stations under the Penal Code and the CAT Act, Act No. 22 of 1994

Without immediate and positive action on the part of the government of Sri Lanka extrajudicial killings and custodial deaths will continue to occur at police stations. Now is the time to stop this criminal action by the very officers of the law who are supposed to be protecting the people of the country.

We encourage you to sign the petition and forward it to other individuals and organizations you believe would be interested in supporting this initiative.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

[organization] [location]

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