Japanese oppn parties seek parliamentary hearing in Lankan woman’s death


After the incident, several protests against immigration policy took place across the country….reports Asian Lite News

Four opposition parties in Japan, the Constitutional Democratic, the Democratic Party for the People, the Communist and the Social Democratic, demanded that the case of the death of a Sri Lankan woman in the immigration center be brought before the parliamentary committee on legal issues, the national NHK broadcaster reported.

On Tuesday, Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa apologized for the inaction of the immigration center staff in the city of Nagoya, which resulted in the death of 33-year-old Wishma Sandamali from Sri Lanka in March. The minister promised to take measures to reform the work of immigration centers.

The young woman’s death in a temporary detention center for immigrants, where she was placed after it was revealed that she was in Japan on an expired student visa, caused a wave of criticism both domestically and abroad. Human rights activists insist that the victim was denied the necessary medical assistance.

During the investigation, it turned out that the employees of the center neglected their duties, in particular, they did not notify the management about the woman’s requests for a medical examination. In addition, on the day of her death, an ambulance was not called for her.

After the incident, several protests against immigration policy took place across the country.

As a result of growing discontent, in May, the Japanese authorities decided to withdraw a bill to amend the immigration law stipulating that the authorities could forcibly deport those who had been denied refugee status three times.

Japan is the country with one of the lowest percentages of refugee status permits. Last year, according to the Immigration Service, 47 out of almost 4,000 applications were approved, and in 2019 – 44 out of 10.400.

Enforced disappearances in SL

Sri Lanka has the world’s second-highest number of enforced disappearances, as tens of thousands of people have “forcibly disappeared” over many decades, according to Amnesty International.

These observations by the international global human rights body after the Sri Lankan Attorney General’s Department on Wednesday decided not to proceed with charges against Wasantha Karannagoda, a former Navy commander, over his alleged role in the abduction of 11 Tamil youth in 2008 and 2009.

The Sri Lankan Navy is alleged to have been behind the forcible disappearance of the “Navy 11”.

“Sri Lanka has the world’s second-highest number of enforced disappearances, with tens of thousands of people forcibly disappeared over many decades. This case was an opportunity for the Sri Lankan authorities to deliver justice for crimes under international law, by ensuring that those reasonably suspected of criminal responsibility, including those implicated for aiding and abetting and under command responsibility, are brought to trial,” Yamini Mishra, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director, said.

“This case has already been beset by obstacles in the Sri Lankan Courts, and today’s decision pushes justice further out of reach for the families of victims. The AG’s department must explain the reasons for its decision, and Sri Lankan authorities must deliver truth, justice and reparations for all victims of enforced disappearance,” she said.

The “Navy 11” case refers to the enforced disappearance of 11 Tamil youth in 2008-2009, allegedly in an abduction racket spearheaded by members of the Sri Lankan Navy.

According to the rights group, in August 2018 the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police arrested Lt. Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi, alias “Navy Sampath”, as the main suspect.

The CID accused the then Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijeguneratne of shielding one of the main suspects, and the court also ordered his arrest, Amnesty International said. (ANI/Sputnik)

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