UK national in North, security concerns apply- Prof. Rajiva

( June 01, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Irrespective of a person’s nationality, security concerns did apply said Prof. Rajiva Wijesinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Human Rights yesterday commenting on the reports of a British passport holder who had been found among those in the conflict zone.

Damilvany Gnanakumar, a British passport holder said to be working at a hospital helping victims in the North, has been directed to one of Sri Lanka’s centres housing those who had come from former conflict areas, says international media reports.

Speaking to the Guardian, relatives of Gnanakumar had said that she had been detained a fortnight ago.

According to the Guardian, Damilvany Gnanakumar, who has a background in biomedical science, had called the family home in Sussex on May 19 appealing for help.

A spokesman attached to the British High Commission in Sri Lanka said that the high commission was aware of such a situation. He added that the British High Commission was in contact with the Sri Lankan government to secure the release of the individual who held a British passport.

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Human Rights commenting on the issue said irrespective of the person’s nationality, security concerns did apply.

While it was a consular obligation to look after the interests of their citizen, they certainly did not interfere with the country’s legal process, he said.

“It happens all the time. People with one passport may go to another country and stay on there. Security concerns obviously apply. People who came out of the conflict areas are being security cleared for them to go out or whatever. So this is one of those people. Nationality does not come into it. It is simply that there is a consular obligation on the part of the embassy concerned to keep an eye on this person. But they certainly don’t interfere with the legal proceedings,” said Prof. Wijesinghe.

According to the Guardian, Gnanakumar’s family had arrived in the UK as refugees from Jaffna in November, 1994. She had married in 2003, but the relationship had been troubled and in February 2008, she had returned to Sri Lanka without informing anyone that she was leaving.
-Sri Lanka Guardian