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Key witness of 2012 Welikada prison massacre receives death threats

One of the key eyewitnesses of the notorious 2012 Welikada prison massacre, Sudesh Nandimal De Silva, received death threats by two unidentified people.  

According to Attorney-at-Law and the chairman of the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners (CPRP), Senaka Perera, the two unidentified people had inquired from neighbours about De Silva’s movements and made statements which implied death threats to De Silva on 7 July 2021.

Perera added that around 15 years ago, De Silva’s previous place of residence was similarly visited and his whereabouts were similarly inquired by a number of unknown people. He also mentioned that a group of unidentified persons had earlier shot at the witness’s sister’s house in Moratuwa where he resided temporarily.

During the riot on 9 November 2012 at the the Welikada prison, also known as the “maximum security Central Jail” in the island, over 16 prisoners were massacred and over 45 were injured following a clash between Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) elite commandos and Sinhala prisoners. 

A police complaint has been lodged and the relevant CCTV footage has been submitted to the police for investigation purposes.

The prison became infamous for the July 1983 massacre, where 53 prisoners were slaughtered by Sinhala inmates whilst prison guards watched on.  On the 25 July 1983 Sellarasa “Kuttimani” Yogachandiran, leader of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and Ganeshanathan Jeganathan, a political writer, had their eyes gouged out in mockery before being killed by Sinhalese inmates at the high security Welikada prison in Colombo. A total of 37 Tamil prisoners were murdered the same day, and 18 more were killed two days later.

Read more here.

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