3RD LEAD (Adds background)
Colombo fails to release Parameswary despite Court order
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 10:44 GMT]
The Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) of Sri Lanka failed to produce Mounasamy Parameswary in Colombo Courts by Wednesday evening despite a Supreme Court order Wednesday morning to release the Tamil woman journalist before the end of Wednesday, legal sources said. Ms Parameswary was arrested and detained without charge for more than three months.
Journalist, Munusamy Parameswary
The Supreme Court made this order after inquiring into the Fundamental Rights petition filed by her.
Parameswary had been working for Mawbima, a Sinhala weekly.
She was arrested three months ago at Wellawatte in Colombo and was detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
Her relatives and lawyers were not allowed to visit her in the first sixty-days detention period.
The case evoked international publicity on the lack of transparency of the Sri Lanka judicial system, and amid the current close scrutiny by international community on the deteriorating human rights situation in Sri Lanka, a large number of foreign journalists were assembled in the court expecting to interview her.
Political sources said confusion at the law enforcement officials on the impending adverse publicity may have dissuaded the officials to delay Parameswary's release.
Parameswary and Ms.Susanthi Thurairajah were arrested on 22 November, 2006 in Wellawatte in Colombo. Susanthi was asked to meet members of the Special Task Force (STF) unit of the Sri Lanka Security forces at a location in Wellawatte for inquiry about her brother in Batticaloa, and Parameswary had accompanied her as a reporter to cover the story when both were arrested.
Ms. Thurairajah is still in jail. Her brother was released in December.
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