JVP queries need for new detention centres
by Saman Indrajith
Mar 10, 2010
JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti questioned in parliament yesterday as to why several military installations have been declared as detention centres recently.

He said eight military establishments had been gazetted as detention centres after nine months of the decimation of the LTTE and demanded to know with whom the government was going to fill those centres.

He said the eight new places included the Army and Navy Headquarters in Colombo. Others were Saliyapura Army Camp in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka Navy Re-correction Camp at SLN Gemunu in Welisara, Nelukkulama Industrial Teaching camp, Panagoda Army Camp, Military Police Headquarters in Polhengoda and the Navy Training facility in Trincomalee.

"As the war against the LTTE is over, why are new detention camps being gazetted? Is it to detain opposition politicians and trade unionists," MP Handunnetti questioned during the debate on the extension of the state of emergency.

He said emergency regulations were being used to incarcerate the government’s political opponents and to suppress the democratic rights of the people. The emergency laws have become a tool for this government which had no other means to control the growing agitation of people against the Rajapaksa regime. The government had become a semi-military type regime which needed the help of draconian laws for its survival, he said.

MP Handunetti said the government was abusing the provisions of the emergency laws to help their thugs who had been unleashed against the opposition party members engaged in the election campaign.

"We have no environment to engage in election campaigns. Not only us but also some of the government ministers have faced the same problem. Some ministers too had been barred from canvassing and campaigning in certain areas marked out by their own colleagues. For example, no politician, either government or opposition, is allowed to campaign in Kiribathgoda. If the government ministers are barred from doing their campaigns, the situation of the opposition MPs could be understood by the members of this assembly," he said.

Courtesy: Island