Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

WHERE IS THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION?

- NIHAL DE ALWIS

The print media in Sri Lanka is full of publicity of the inhuman methods adopted by the Japanese authoritie­s which resulted in the untimely death of a tourist/student from

Sri Lanka WISHMA SANDAMALI who was only 33 years old due to inadequate treatment provided to her despite her request whilst under detention, just for overstayin­g a visa. From January 2021, she had been kept under detention but her numerous appeals had fallen on deaf ears. What was the Sri Lankan Embassy doing? Why are they Dumb?

The Minister Of Justice from Japan has said

“I express my heartfelt condolence­s to her mother and bereaved family and my heartfelt apologies for the loss of this precious life in the detention centre “An apology by the Justice Minister for a heartless act by the Japanese authoritie­s will not suffice! Is it the ONLY way the Japanese Government can repay their gross negligence causing the death of a young girl in their custody? The United Nations Declaratio­n on such matters, says such, matters need immediate action. Even the UN as per their Declaratio­n Adopted by the General assembly on the 9th Of December 1975, requires immediate action and is not confined to mere words. It goes on to say “any act of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, or punishment is an offense to human dignity and a fundamenta­l violation of human rights”, needs immediate action.

It is a pity that a developed country like Japan treated an innocent and helpless, innocent girl in the most, degrading, manner depriving her of her basic medical needs, and rights which resulted in causing her death.

The Japanese government must realize that their Minister apologizin­g, and promising to take action against their officials is not the solution and the final way of bringing some solace to her parents and family. If Japan had the experience of losing the life of one of their citizens in our custody, I am sure they would have given worldwide publicity bringing disrepute to our country and claimed the highest compensati­on.

The allegedly, cruelty caused by the Japanese during the second world war, for example in Malaysia as I learned during my training at the special branch in Malaysia is probably a reflection of their attitude to life. I am compelled to say this when the Minister ONLY opts to apologize, and not pay adequate compensati­on to a poor family! It is equally sad when the Sri Lankan government is also silent about it! Not even the Ambassador for Sri Lanka, in Japan, is making a public statement on this.

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