Lalith Kumara Weeraraju and Kugan Muruganandan were last seen leaving Kugan Muruganandan’s residence in Avarangal, Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, on 9 December. There were preparing a press conference to be held on 10 December, World Human Rights Day, which aimed to publicize a protest planned for the same day.
The protest included parents and relatives of people missing since the end of armed conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009, and was to focus on denouncing human rights violations against Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan military and calling for the release of detainees held without charge since the end of the war.
According to family members, the two men left the house on a motorbike bearing the license number NP GT 7852 at around 5:00pm on 9 December.
Family members say they later received an anonymous phone call saying that Lalith Kumara Weeraraju had been killed. A missing persons complaint was lodged with the Jaffna Police, who denied they are holding the two men in custody.
Lalith Kumara Weeraraju has previously received threats warning him against involvement in politics in Jaffna, particularly during recent elections. He was also attacked and injured during a demonstration in Jaffna town on 14 November 2010, and was arrested and interrogated by the army in early 2011.
Human rights defenders say the Sri Lankan army and police attempted to block some 50 people from southern Sri Lanka attempting to join the demonstration, including members of the Civil Monitoring Committee, a
voluntary human rights organization. The protest at the Jaffna bus stand went ahead on 10 December despite the obstacles.
Please write immediately in English or your own language:
-Expressing concern for the safety and wellbeing of Lalith Kumara Weeraraju and Kugan Muruganandan;
-Calling on the Sri Lankan authorities to order an immediate and impartial investigation to establish the whereabouts of Lalith Kumara Weeraraju and Kugan Muruganandan;
-Calling on the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure that human rights
defenders are able to carry out their legitimate human rights work without fear of harassment or intimidation.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 24 JANUARY 2012 TO:
His Excellency the President
Fax: 011 94 11 244 6657
Salutation: Your Excellency
Inspector General of Police
N K Illangakoon
New Secretariat Colombo 1
Fax: 011 94 11 244 0440
Salutation: Dear Inspector General
Ministry of Defence and Urban Development
15/5, Baladaksha Mawatha,
Fax: 01194 11 254 1529
Salutation: Dear Defence Secretary
Also send copies to:
His Excellency Jaliya Wickramasuriya,
Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
2148 Wyoming Ave. NW
Washington DC 20008
Tel: 202 483 4025
Fax: 1 202 232 7181
Please check with the AIUSA Urgent Action Office if sending appeals after the above date.