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Balendran Jeyakumary: Two years, Two cases…No End in Sight

APRIL 4, 2016 / ANON.
We met recently with B. Jeyakumary after her release on bail by the Padaviya Magistrate Court on the 8th of September, 2015 however she is yet unclear of why she was arrested and the details of the case. Both the cases she was arrested and detained for in March 2014 and the second one last year are both still ongoing and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. She still has to go to the Kilinochchi Police every last Sunday of the month in accordance with the terms of bail upon her initial release on the 13th of March, 2015.

Vibushika, her 15 year old daughter is schooling in Jaffna, and is doing well in her studies, but due to the distance from Kilinochchi and having nobody to look after affairs at home whilst she’s away, Jeyakumary is only able to visit Vibushika once a month. Jeyakumary is trying to start up a small-scale poultry farm and home-garden, but, she is waiting on her cases to be concluded to start up anything properly. She also spoke of the immense loss of property and possessions, the Police estimated at Rs. 408,510, although she claims that her loss amounted to at least Rs. 550,000. Although she had complained to the Police regarding her loss in July 2014, following a visit from Vibushika, who had told her about the looting, nothing more had been done about her complaint.

When asked what she knows of the case, Jeyakumary responded that on a court date in February 2016, staffers from the Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH), (a local de-mining non-profit, closely associated with the Government/Ministry of Economic Development[1]), had come forward as witnesses to the break-in of one of their warehouses in Weli-Oya, where 3 out of 35 boxes of de-mining equipment had been stolen, on the 14th of January, 2016. On discovering the 3 boxes near a tank in Weli-Oya a few days later, the Police had stated that they hadn’t found any finger prints on the boxes. (It’s noteworthy to mention that the incident for which Jeyakumary and 2 others have been suspected took place, more than 6 months after their arrest warrants were issued.) Kanthaleyan, who was initially arrested in March 2014, around the same time as Jeyakumary, was issued a second arrest warrant whilst he was still in prison at Welikada on the initial charge. He was issued with an arrest warrant in June 2015, the charge for which he wasn’t even told about till January 2016. This is clear evidence of the fabricated nature of the alleged charges.

Following her release on bail in September, Jeyakumary had been waiting to sign her release form at the Kebithigollewa Magistrate Court. Whilst she was seated outside the courts, awaiting her lawyer, a Tamil policeman had approached her and told her not stay outside alone as the Police and army intelligence was watching her closely, and that she should stay inside in the sight of the Magistrate. Soon after he left, an army personnel had gotten off an army truck and walked up to her and asked her if she was Jeyakumary. Thereafter, a Tamil journalist claiming to be from Thinappuyal News, had asked if he could interview her. She had refused, saying that she was not interested in giving any interviews at the time, but that she would like to speak to her daughter. So he had called her daughter for her, and she had spoken briefly to Vibushika. Thereafter, the Tamil policeman had returned outside and told her to go inside.

Kanthaleyan and Ravindran Madhani (another woman who was arrested along with Jeyakumary in March 2014,) have been produced in court almost every 14 days since June 2015 and Jeyakumary too has been to court at least 4 times between September 2015 and March 2016. Their next court date has been set for June 8th at the Padaviya Magistrate, with the next Colombo court date being set for the 1st of June.

[1] Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH), is located within the Ministry of Economic Development and “supports the reconciliation and rehabilitation effort of the Government.” – http://slnmac.gov.lk/dash



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