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 Post subject: AI expresses concern over threat to doctor
 Post Posted: Mon May 08, 2006 2:22 am 
AI expresses concern over threat to doctor

08MAY2006 /@ DM

Amnesty International (AI) has expressed fears for the safety of a Sri Lankan doctor whose son was among the five students killed in Trincomalee in January. The AI says Dr Kasippillai Manoharan, whose son was killed in January, allegedly by the security forces, has received death threats also believed to be from the security forces.

Since the family believe that the death threats and harassment have been initiated by the security forces who suspect them of having links with the LTTE, they are living in fear for their lives. Dr Manoharan has temporarily suspended his medical practice and his children are no longer attending school.

The Dr has notified the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN High Commission for Refugees and the National Human Rights Commission of the threats to kill him and his family.

In a report posted on its website, AI says Dr Manoharan’s son, 20-year-old Ragihar Manoharan, was among five Tamil students allegedly killed by the Sri Lankan security forces in Trincomalee on January 2. A group of students from Sri Koneswara Hindu College and St. Joseph’s College in Trincomalee had gathered for a chat at about 7pm near the seafront, when a grenade was thrown at them from a passing auto rickshaw. The students ran, but at least three of them were injured in the explosion. A short while later a group of 10 to 15 officers in uniform believed to be of the STF arrived. They allegedly put the injured students into their jeep and beat them with rifle butts, and then pushed them out onto the road.

According to a witness the security forces personnel then shot five students dead, including Ragihar Manoharan. Although the security forces initially claimed the five had been killed when the grenade (which they alleged the students had been carrying) exploded, a post mortem revealed that the five students had died of gunshot injuries.

An inquest was held at the Trincomalee Magistrates' Court on January 10, at which Dr. Manoharan gave evidence. That night, the family heard shouting outside and their house was pelted with stones. Dr Manoharan also received a number of anonymous phone calls that night, and on several subsequent nights from a man speaking in Sinhalese with a few words in Tamil saying that he and his family would be killed, because he had given evidence at the inquest.

Dr Manoharan was one of several witnesses who gave evidence to the Magistrates' Court the following week.

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