EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 37/23/93
This is a limited action. Please send up to 5 appeals per section.
UA 404/93 Unacknowledged detention/Fear of "disappearance" 16 November 1993
SRI LANKA Sinnathambi Meganathan, bodyguard for member of parliament
Sinnathambi Meganathan was abducted at about 10am on 10 November 1993 from
a bus in the centre of the capital, Colombo. He had boarded the bus near
Sravasti, the official hostel for members of parliament in Colombo. Shortly
afterwards, when the bus had stopped outside Colombo Public Library, five armed
men wearing civilian dress boarded, removed Sinnathambi Meganathan and took
him way in a jeep.
Witnesses described the jeep as a blue Toyota Land Cruiser with the number
plate 64 - 0945. According to reports, this jeep belongs to the Batticaloa
Police (in eastern Sri Lanka).
Sinnathambi Meganathan comes from Mandur in Batticaloa District, but now lives
at Sravasti in Colombo with member of parliament Suresh Premachandran, for
whom he works as a bodyguard. Suresh Premachandran has raised his case in
parliament, and with the Prime Minister and Defence Secretary, but Sinnathambi
Meganathan's whereabouts remain unknown.
There have been earlier occasions when a person abducted in Colombo has later
been found in custody in eastern Sri Lanka.
"Disappearances" have reduced in number in Sri Lanka in the past year and there
is now a greater likelihood of people being traced in custody after a period
of unacknowledged detention. All of the cases of "disappearance" documented
by Amnesty International during 1993 have been of members of the Tamil community.
In the north and east of Sri Lanka, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelem are
fighting government security forces with aims of establishing a separate state,
which they call "Eelam".
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the unacknowledged detention of Sinnathambi Meganathan
abducted in Colombo on 10 January 1993;
- urging that a full, impartial investigation be held to establish his