My Cousin from Kili is in a Camp. How Do I Get Him Out?

I have a cousin who lived in Kilinochchi. He was an 8th Grade school teacher. As far as I know, he bore no allegiance to the LTTE. He may have cooperated with them for the purpose of survival. However, he had no criminal record and certainly had no links to terrorist activities.

He now resides in  Zone 3 of the Menik Farm IDP Camp. He is one of 40,648 IDPs interned there. There are 6 medical officers for the entire Zone, which amounts to one medical officer for every 6,775 civilians.

He is neither an “elder” nor “a person with learning disabilities”, nor does he fall within the category of some “other vulnerable group”. Thus he is not one of the fortunate 2,234 individuals released into the care of elders’ homes or host families. That is a mere 0.8% of the 260,295 civilians housed in Vavuniya.

I have some relatives in Puttlam that are willing to accept my cousin into their home. They are willing to house him, feed him and assist him in finding new employment.

I heard the other day that my cousin’s wife was killed in a shelling raid and his two daughters have left the camp to be with their relatives. Yet he is not permitted to leave the camp and join his daughters.

Screening. Ok, screen him. What are they looking for? Are they all terrorist suspects?

All 260,295 of them?

I hear that the law requires you to be reasonably suspected of having committed an offence for the State to hold you in custody for more than 24 hours. I hear that murderers, rapists and thieves are granted bail under our law.

So why indefinitely incarcerate my cousin?

He is fortunate enough to have relatives willing to host him, yet unfortunate not to be a person with a learning disability. He also doesn’t have the Rs. 400,000 needed to get “unofficial bail”.

Why can’t they run a simple background check and release him?

How many IDPs want to leave these camps anyway? There are 18,200 IDPs in Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee. They may leave if they wish to, but no one does, since they have no where to go. So how many of the 260,295 IDPs in Vavuniya do you think would actually want to leave? Just a few, perhaps. Not many.

The few that do wish to leave may be screened. I doubt that it would be administratively impossible to reserve the screening process just for those who wish to leave the camps. The others could remain until they are resettled. Those who fail the test may be rehabilitated in the “Rehab Camps” located in Kalimoddai and Sirukandal in Mannar. Those who pass the test may be released to their families. Is it not that simple?

I’m sure my cousin will pass the screening. But in an ironic twist of fate, he was not born in 1940 or as a retard, so he doesn’t qualify for consideration.

What can I do to get him out?

Thank you for reading.

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~ by Archangel on June 16, 2009.

9 Responses to “My Cousin from Kili is in a Camp. How Do I Get Him Out?”

  1. I absolutely have no idea what i can do to help get your cousin out who as you say is innocent. But my sincere prayers are with him and you. Hope both you and your cousin will re-unite soon. Good luck buddy 🙂

  2. Why don’t you tell the poor sod to write to our great leader, the commander of our forces, protector of our land, lord and master of the realm, Mr. numero uno, the great one, the blessed one, the one with the best mustache this side of the hemisphere, the most excellent…. King Rajapakse the 1st …..

    It’s a long shot but maybe if the correct adjectives are used, he just might be released..

  3. Yeah good idea. But then if one person is released the President may get a whole load of letters. Better to screen everyone and resettle them together. Makes more practical sense.

  4. How do we know your cousin isn’t a terrorist?

  5. I honestly presumed that the symbolic nature of this story was self-evident.

    Dutugemunu, I only reasonably believe he is not a terrorist. If there is reasonable suspicion that he is in fact a terrorist, then he should be slapped with a Detention Order and either tried under the PTA or sent to a rehabilitation camp.

    You’re evading the issue.

    TYFR

  6. Everybody’s guilty until proven innocent.

  7. well, first you goad him into recruiting child soldiers within the camp, become a terrorist leader in his own right,order the killings and kidnappings of thousands, then give him a diplomatic passport, a ministerial portfolio, major party leadership position and declare him rehabilitated and reformed by virtue of gov’t approval and the co opting of the same.

    It’s certainly not true that the GOSL doesn’t love terrorists. They love Karuna and Pillayan and would surely welcome others who by some strange standard are deemed to transcend the rehab paradigm judged as mandatory for tiger grunts.

  8. Dutugamunu, you mean Tamils are guilty until proven innocent.

    Interesting point, Nayagan. This Government has shown great skill in the divide and rule policy. Perhaps this is why it is systematically dividing up the population into various zones in Menik Farm.
    However, I don’t see the incentive in creating another Karuna. There may not be any necessity to put another terrorist on a pedestal since there is no larger organization to weaken or undermine.

    If we don’t care about the legality of holding IDPs in internment camps, let us at least consider the practicality of having to screen all 260,000 of them before releasing anyone. I think the government ought to screen only those that wish to leave. Those that pass the screening should be permitted to leave. That may apply to a mere 2-3% of the IDPs since a majority of them will not want to leave the “protection net” in any event. So it is not beyond practicality to remove the “unlawful detention” element of these camps. Common sense ought to prevail here.

    TYFR

  9. I totally agree with you bro… and keeping people inside barbed wire fences leads only to divided families… I sincerely hope you get to reunite with your cousin!

    Dutu – For an army that totally annihilated the most ruthless terror outfit in the world, screening a couple of hundred people in our custody wouldn’t be that big a challenge… We’ve got all the intel available to us, why can’t we begin to let the people go?

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