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Sri Lankan officials refuse to handover body of Tamil political prisoner

Sri Lankan authorities have turned down a request by the parents of slain Tamil political prisoner Ganeshan Nimalaruban for his body to be handed over to them, reported JDS today.

Nimalaruban died on Tuesday after sustaining serious injuries in an attack on several Tamil detainees by security forces.

Government officials claimed he was admitted at Ragama hospital on Tuesday evening, however hospital authorities told journalists on Wednesday that they were given a dead body by prison officials.

JDS reported that according to legal sources, Nimalaruban was arrested on suspicion of links with the LTTE and was held without charge for 7 months.

Police officials told Mahara Magistrate Mapa Bandara that a funeral may disrupt law and order in the region.

The magistrate issued an injunction, preventing the the removal of the body by the parents and ordered the burial of Nimalaruban by the government.

Arrangements to bury the body in the Western Province are currently being made, reported JDS.

According to human rights activists, the parents have been taken into custody.

“They are left to bleed. Nimalaruban succumbed to his injuries because the prison officials deliberately left him to bleed to death. The attacks on this group of 31 Tamil political prisoners had been led by the Prison Superintendent of Anuradhapura himself,” MP Premachandran said to JDS, after visiting prisoners in Mahara prison and in Ragama hospital.

“All of them have suffered serious injuries while one of them has had gunshot injury. At least six of them are admitted to the Mahara prison hospital. Four are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Ragama hospital with one of them in coma. They were all beaten up as if it was a revenge attack" he said.

Premachandran also alleged that other prisoners were brought in from Anuradhapuram jail to assault the Tamil detainees for over 10 hours.

The Sri Lankan Minister for Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, Chandrasiri Gajadeera, told parliament that Nimalaruban died of a heart attack and was suffering from heart disease.

The post-mortem report had not been completed at the time of Gajadeera’s statement.

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