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SL Police disrupt Tamil prisoner’s last rites and warn against funeral proceedings

The Sri Lankan Police have disrupted the last rites ceremony of a Tamil political prisoner who passed away on Wednesday, after spending weeks in a coma following an attack on Tamil prisoners by prison guards.

The body of 37-year old Mariathas Nevis was handed over to his family in order to hold the last rites ceremony at around 5.30 yesterday evening in Passaiyoor, Jaffna

Uthayan reported that Sri Lankan policemen entered the home where the last rites were being held and halted traditional instruments from being played at the ceremony.

Furthermore, the policemen warned the family against holding a funeral procession, where the body is transported to the funeral site, and the playing of traditional instruments at the funeral tomorrow.

According to the Activists for Human Rights (AFHR), police officials also requested the Jaffna magistrate to issue a court order, in order to prevent a large crowd gathering at the funeral.

Whilst the police confirmed the request was made, the magistrate refused to issue the order.

Police media spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana commented,

“The funeral will be held tomorrow but political rallies or speeches have been prohibited to be held concurrent with the funeral.”

Mariathas Nevis's funeral is due to be held on Saturday at 6pm.

Last month the Sri Lankan surrounded the funeral of Nimalaroopan, another Tamil political prisoner who was murdered whilst in custody.

See our earlier post:

SL military surround Nimalaroopan’s funeral (24 July 2012)

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