Commodore Dassanayake’s detention : ‘UN accepted daughter’s petition’ | Sunday Observer

Commodore Dassanayake’s detention : ‘UN accepted daughter’s petition’

The United Nations yesterday clarified that they, in fact, accepted the petition of former Navy Spokesperson, Commodore D.K.P. Dassanayake’s daughter over her father’s continued detention as a suspect in an abduction case.

In a statement issued on Friday, the United Nations Sri Lanka office said, “Two petitions addressed to the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Una McCauley, was received by Ms. McCauley and the Senior Human Rights Advisor, Juan Fernandez on Friday, December 15. The petitions have been forwarded to the relevant authorities as requested by the petitioners, for necessary action and follow up.”

The daughter of Commodore Dassanayake told electronic media yesterday that her request to meet the visiting three-member team from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, was turned down as her case supposedly did not involve the LTTE. She said she tried to meet the visiting delegation after a media conference they had in Colombo.

Commodore Dassanayake was arrested five months ago on the charge of aiding and abetting the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009.

The case is currently pending before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s court. The UN team conducted its first official country visit to Sri Lanka from December 4 to 15.

The team comprised José Guevara Bermúdez of Mexico who was the Chair-Rapporteur, Ms. Leigh Toomey of Australia, Vice-Chair and Ms. Elina Steinerte of Latvia, Vice-Chair.

They were accompanied by staff from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

At the end of their visit, the team commended the State’s moves to set up a permanent government body to coordinate the engagement of Sri Lanka with the international human rights mechanisms but raised deprivation of liberty in the context of the criminal justice system as an issue needing immediate attention among other things.

They visited 30 places of detention in Colombo as well as Anuradhapura, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa.

The team is required to submit a report to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on their observations on Sri Lanka. This document will be the basis for a comprehensive report prepared after a year-long deliberations by the Working Group during the course of the next year. It will be officially adopted and tabled at the Human Rights Council at its 39th session in September, 2018.

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