Demand immediate action on missing activists

Sri Lankan political activists Lalith Kumara Weeraraju and KuganMuruganandan have been missing since 9 December. They were arranging a press conference for the following day to publicize a protest. LalithKumara Weeraraju’s family received a phone call saying that he had been killed.

Lalith Kumara Weeraraju and Kugan Muruganandan were last seen leaving KuganMuruganandan’s residence in Avarangal, Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, on 9December. There were preparing a press conference to be held on 10December, World Human Rights Day, which aimed to publicize a protest planned for the same day. The protest included parents and relatives of people missing since the end of armed conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009, and was to focus on denouncing human rights violations against Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan military and calling for the release of detainees held without charge since the end of the war.

According to family members, the two men left the house on a motorbike bearing the license number NP GT 7852 at around 5:00pm on 9 December.Family members say they later received an anonymous phone call saying that Lalith Kumara Weeraraju had been killed. A missing person’s complaint was lodged with the Jaffna Police, who denied they are holding the two men in custody.

Lalith Kumara Weeraraju has previously received threats warning him against involvement in politics in Jaffna, particularly during recent elections. He was also attacked and injured during a demonstration in Jaffna town on 14November 2010, and was arrested and interrogated by the army in early 2011.

Human rights defenders say the Sri Lankan army and police attempted to block some 50 people from southern Sri Lanka attempting to join the demonstration, including members of the Civil Monitoring Committee, a voluntary human rights organization. The protest at the Jaffna bus standwent ahead on 10 December despite the obstacles.

Please write immediately in English or your own language:-Expressing concern for the safety and wellbeing of Lalith Kumara Weerarajuand Kugan Muruganandan;

-Calling on the Sri Lankan authorities to order an immediate and impartial investigation to establish the whereabouts of Lalith Kumara Weeraraju andKugan Muruganandan;

-Calling on the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure that human rights defenders are able to carry out their legitimate human rights work withoutfear of harassment or intimidation

Mahinda Rajapaksa
Presidential Secretariat
Colombo 1SRI LANKA
Fax: 011 94 11 244 6657

Inspector General of Police
N K Illangakoon
New Secretariat Colombo 1SRI LANKA
Fax: 011 94 11 244 0440

Harassment, intimidation and attacks against human rights defenders andothers who expose abuses in Sri Lanka are common. Many victims of humanrights abuses feel an increased sense of insecurity as there is a lack ofcredible domestic mechanisms for filing and investigating complaints.

Name(s): Lalith Kumara Weeraraju (m)Kugan Muruganandan (m)Issue(s):
Death treat, Intimidation, Ill-treatment