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Show us secret detention camps - Government

The Sri Lankan government has denied it is operating secret detention camps for Tamil political prisoners.

Speaking to The Island, foreign ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne asked for individuals with information on any such camps to come forward, so investigations can be made.

"[T]the Government has assured that there are no secret detention camps. However, since concerns continue to be raised, persons who may have information pertaining to such secret detention camps are urged to bring such information to the attention of the authorities or persons at high-level so that arrangements could be made to investigate and even arrange for unannounced visits," she said.

"The Government is committed to investigate and therefore, seek the support of all who may have any information to share such information," the spokesperson added.

The government already handed a list of all detainees to the families and the ICRC, she further said, adding that this list will not be made public.

"All families of persons, who are in detention, have been informed. ICRC too has this information and ICRC assists families of the detained with family visits," she said.

"The list of persons who are in detention will not be made public but has been shared with the ICRC."

She said of those detained, "a few" may have been held without charge.

"There are certain persons who are detained under the PTA. All cases are in the process of being reviewed by the AG’s department. There may be a few against whom charges may not have been filed. This too is being checked," Ms Colonne said.

Commenting on the government's recent assertion that only 300 prisoners were in the government’s custody, renowned journalist JS Tissainayagam wrote on Wednesday,

“The recent revelation that only 300 prisoners remain in Government custody only confirms that the crimes committed by the government are even more heinous than previously imagined. As such, no Sri Lanka government is going to facilitate the legal, administrative need to meet ‘international standards.’ The only way is for international justice to be dispensed by international courts.”

Justice in Sri Lanka: With just 273 political prisoners in custody, how many have disappeared? - J. S. Tissainayagam (17 June 2015)

Only 200 LTTE cadres in custody – Sri Lankan justice minster (09 June 2015)

Sri Lanka says no secret detention camps (11 May 2015)

Tamil man granted asylum in Switzerland after being deported, detained and abused in Sri Lanka (27 April 2015)

Government ministries refuse to release list of detainees (26 April 2015)

Sri Lanka justice minister denies mass detentions under anti-terror laws (02 April 2015)

Tamils still held in secret Sri Lankan military camps (31 March 2015)

Over 700 people held at secret army camp – TNA (20 February 2015)