There were more than 250 people gathered in front of the George De Silva park at the heart of Kandy city with posters, and leaflets were distributed to the people who passed by. Having made a silent protest for an hour from 2.00 p.m. till 3.00 p.m. the protestors marched to the parish hall of St. Anthony's Cathedral where Rev. Fr. Reid Shelton Fernando and Fr. Nandana Manatunga explained the historical background and the relevance of the gathering and of our main focus of 2012 international torture day.
During the gathering at the Cathedral parish hall Rev. Fr. Reid and Fr. Nandana explained about the proposed bill and stated that this bill would allow police to detain suspects for a longer period of time, for 48 hours in a selected list of crimes that include murder, culpable homicide, attempted murder, kidnapping, abductions, theft, robbery with attempts to cause grievous harm, armed robbery, etc. The extension of detention time limit would further allow the police officers to Torture the suspects although the media spokesmen of the police recently denied the practice of Torture in Sri Lanka.
The main focus of the Protest was the suggested new Bill, which is expected to be tabled in parliament, to amend the Criminal Procedure Code in order to allow police to detain suspects for 48 hours, instead of the 24 hours specified in the current provisions. The Human Rights office along with the victims of Torture called the Government not to extend the time limit of the detention of the suspects.
Further Human Rights office requested the government to release the suspects who are detained without trial for many years in remand prisons and in various detention centers. In May 2012 the minister of Justice promised to release the names of all the detainees and expedite their trials by instituting special courts for this purpose. However so far the detainees are not brought to trial.
The protestors also called on the Kandy police to take immediate action against the perpetrator, school teacher who Tortured the student of Mahanama College Getambe Kandy.