The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is to submit an application to court and seek an order to exhume the bodies of the Muslims who were killed during the recent riots in Aluthgama and Beruwala and investigate the circumstances that led to their deaths after suspicions were raised over the postmortem reports.
Following a meeting held yesterday the BASL said it had decided to ask the court to direct a qualified Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) or head of the Forensic Department at the University of Colombo to conduct a postmortem seeking accurate and comprehensive reports into the deaths.
BASL President, Attorney-at-law UpulJayasuriya told The Sunday Leader that Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem had also indicated that there were serious doubts over the postmortem reports already submitted on the victims.
“Certain interested parties have meddled with the postmortem reports of the two deceased persons and also with the medical reports of the 17-year-old boy whose leg had to be amputated as a result of the riots,” Jayasuriya said.
He said that if Minister Hakeem had also raised concerns on the postmortem reports, then the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) and the Government Medical Officer’s Association (GMOA) should push for a separate investigation as to if the medical professionals had failed to discharge their duties properly or if there was any outside interference.
Meanwhile, the BASL has resolved to urge the Attorney General to take immediate steps to direct the police investigating the violence in the South to take action against those who had instigated tensions between Muslims and Sinhalese.
The BASL yesterday also unanimously resolved to issue a statement condemning the steps that were taken by the hooligans and the criminal elements during the violence which led to houses, mosques, business places and factories belonging to Muslims being destroyed.
“We note with regret that having ended the 30 year war with the LTTE, there are certain elements with religious connections who harass yet another minority community. These groups have to be charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Sufficient action must be taken by the police and the law enforcement authorities to maintain peace in the affected areas. It is said that on many instances attacks have been carried out in the presence of the law enforcement authorities,” claimed Jayasuriya.