| by Sri Lanka Campaign 

( March 17, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) These are dark days. On Thursday the prominent campaigner for the disappeared Jeyakumari Balendran was arrested along with her 13 year old daughter. While the daughter was released, Jeyakumari continues to be held in Boosa detention centre. She is being held under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism act, under which a person can be held without charge for up to 18 months.

Then yesterday at 10pm two other activists Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen Mahesan were arrested in Killinochi. To date, there has been no official reason given for their treatment. Police have informed the media and lawyers that they are being brought to Colombo for further questioning. However, there is still no clear information on their current location. Family and friends are extremely concerned for their safety.

Fr. Praveen is the former Director of the Centre For Peace And Reconciliation, a Kilinochchi based organisation working for peace and understanding between communities. Ruki is one of Sri Lanka's most prominent and vocal human rights activists and has worked for many years with the families of the disappeared.

We have not heard from them since they were arrested and are very worried for the safety of all three.

Here are three things you can do:
  1. Bombard UK Prime Minister David Cameron with emails asking for his help in securing their release. You can use the emailsdavid.cameron@conservatives.com, camerond@parliament.uk and info@davidcameron.com and we attach a short sample email below. In the USA you might want to try contacting John Kerry: http://contact-us.state.gov/app/ask/
  2. Write to your local Sri Lankan embassy asking for their release. You can find contacts for the UK here, Canada here, and the US here. Again there is a short sample email below.
  3. Spread the word about the arrests. The hashtag #freerukiandpriest is being used on social media.
Many thanks,
The Sri Lanka Campaign

Sample letter to Cameron

Dear Prime Minister,

When you visited Sri Lanka in November you promised to shine a light on what was happening in that country. Now one of the people who came to meet you, a priest, and one of Sri Lanka's most prominent and outspoken activists are in custody.

Jeyakumari Balendran is a prominent campaigner for the disappeared. She was arrested on Thursday along with her 13 year old daughter. While the daughter was released, Jeyakumari continues to be held in Boosa detention centre. She is being held under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism act, under which a person can be held without charge for up to 18 months. Yesterday (Sunday) at 10pm two other activists Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen Mahesan were arrested in Killinochi. To date, there has been no official reason given for their treatment. Police have informed the media and lawyers that they are being brought to Colombo for further questioning. However, there is still no clear information on their current location. Family and friends are extremely concerned for their safety.

Fr Praveen is the former Director of the Centre For Peace And Reconciliation, a Killinochi based organisation working for peace and understanding between communities. Ruki is one of Sri Lanka's most prominent and vocal human rights activists and has worked for many years with the families of the disappeared.

We are very worried for them, and find their continuing detention to be an outrage. Please help to secure their release.

Sample letter to High Commissioners

Excellency,

Please help to secure the release of three activists detained in Killinochi over the last few days

Jeyakumari Balendran is a prominent campaigner for the disappeared. She was arrested on Thursday along with her 13 year old daughter. While the daughter was released, Jeyakumari continues to be held in Boosa detention centre. She is being held under the Prevention of Terrorism act. Yesterday (Sunday) at 10pm two other activists Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen Mahesan were arrested in Killinochi. It is not clear yet if they have been charged but they have apparently been moved to Colombo for further questioning.

We are very worried for them, and find their continuing detention to be entirely without justification. Please help to secure their release.





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