A special programme to commemorate the “International Day in support of the Torture survivors” was organized by the Human Rights Office Kandy on the 23rd June 2013 at Nawalapitiya along with a Legal clinic. The Human Rights Office highlighted the court Judgment HC 309/2007 the rape, torture & murder of S. Umadevi of Imbulpitiya Nawalapitiya. The incident that took place on the 12th of September 2001 finally received Justice by the High Court of Kandy Sri Lanka in September 2012 sentencing 02 accused for 20 years of imprisonment for the rape and death sentence for the murder.
Those who gathered at the church premises on the 23rd June 2013, to commemorate the "International day in support of the Torture survivors" were reminded about the public protest that was held in September 2001 by the Religious leaders & the members of the civil society calling for investigations into the abduction, Torture, rape and murder of S. Umadevi, a young student from Nawalapitiya. The protest march that started off from the Hindu Kovil, proceeded to the premises of the Catholic church where a public gathering was held in 2001 with Religious leaders of all faiths addressing the gathering.
S. Umadevi was abducted while she was returning from typing classes and she was just 23 years of age at the time of the incident. The campaign for justice by the people of Nawalapitiya which was supported by the Human Rights Office that also initiated a post card campaign, appreciated the efforts by all religious leaders and the members of the civil society in breaking the silence in the face of such gruesome incidents. The police officers who were delaying the investigations into the abduction, Torture, rape & murder of Umadevi, finally were forced to initiate investigations that resulted in the arrest of 07 suspects.
The Human Rights office stood by the victim’s family during the past 11 years at each court sitting retaining a lawyer in the interest of the aggrieved party and monitoring the court procedure by the staff of the HRO, while the organizations and the civil society members, who came forward initially to support the victim's family, fell by the way side as the legal process took its own time, almost 11 years to finally complete it.
On the 23rd June 2013, the children, youth and the adults were taken separately in groups and made aware of the need to voice against Torture, rape, murder & all human rights violations and follow the adjudication process until justice is delivered. This was followed by a Legal clinic. Leaflets, in Sinhala & Tamil, highlighting the judgment of the abduction, Torture, rape & murder of S. Umadevi were distributed to people who gathered at the church premises and also in streets of Nawalapitiya. The Lawyers, members of the support group, the director and the staff of the Human Rights office organized the days programme.
Human Rights Office Kandy, Torture in Sri Lanka, Disappearances in Sri Lanka, Healing and Counseling
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