Ganesan Nimalaruban: A damning murder, funeral and silence


Photo credit: Vikalpa

It is very likely readers of Sinhala mainstream print media have no clue who Ganesan Nimalaruban was, or exactly how he died. A simple Google news or general web search suffices to highlight how poor even English mainstream media coverage has been over the controversy surrounding his death.

Vikalpa was present at the funeral of Nimalaruban. They note that aside from a few provincial journalists (whose news reports don’t make it to the actual print editions on the best of days) there were no other seasoned journalists from any mainstream newspaper present. Recall that the courts didn’t want Nimalaruban’s body to be released to his parents, citing that,

“his funeral arrangements could result in a violent situation in his home town of Vavuniya.”

Before his body was released, in an open letter to the President, senior Tamil politicians and civil society activists noted,

Your Excellency, we have been informed by the eye witnesses on the inhuman merciless attacks the deceased and his colleagues received in remand custody during the days following the Vavuniya incident on June, 29th. We also wish to bring to your notice that there are more inmates who have received serious injuries.

An account of how he came to be killed can be read here. The government and Police deny he was subject to torture. The Tamil National Alliance in early July “vowed it will take the issue of the Tamil detainee who was assaulted to death by prison officials, and the subsequent refusal to hand over the body to the family to the international fora”. After Nimalaruban’s parents filed a Fundamental Rights violation application and in a complete reversal of the government’s stand on the issue, the Attorney-General informed the Supreme Court that Nimalaruban’s body would be handed over to his parents on the 23rd of July.

Nimalaruban was laid to rest on the 24th of July. Vikalpa‘s moving photos and video tell their own story.

At around 3 minutes into the video, there’s an incredibly powerful, and deeply moving segment. The mother of the deceased has this to say in Tamil (translated from here),

Where is it written that you can be beaten to death? Which article is it written thus? I am not afraid of anyone. I don’t care who you are. Come and shoot me. I am not afraid. People need justice and the truth. The people who beat my son up are animals. My heart burns. Those who killed my son will suffer the same fate. I didn’t teach my son to steal or kill. My son’s father worked hard to raise my son. Nothing good will come to them. Shoot me, I am not afraid. Bullets can enter my heart. I will be in pain. But I am unafraid. I had my son after waiting twelve years. I enjoyed bringing my son up. If my child had done wrong, he should have gone to courts and received punishment. But what law has it that my child was tortured and killed? My son was hidden somewhere and killed. If you had killed my son in front of me, you would understand who I am. Now they have surrounded my house with thousands of guns. I have nothing. Come, if you can. From the hand that fed you string-hoppers, I now put ‘vaikkarasi’. Take me too, my son. My god, take me too and go.

We tweeted soon after Vikalpa published the story of Nimalaruban’s funeral,

If this is the first time you are reading the details of this story, seeing this video footage and photos and realising the full horror of what the government has tried to cover up, ask yourself whether this is a peace, three years after the end of war, we can really be proud of.

  • Maya

    shocking! I was in tears, being a Tamil and a mother I can understand Nimal’s mother’s cry and frustration… very very sad, I only hope those responsible will be brought to justice soon. No one should have such a fate! a military regime it is

    • D

      I’m Sinhala and I’m not a mother, but I do feel the same. Are we to just watch as our liberties be taken away from us? Sickening… Colombo maybe ‘beautified’ but what really does lie beneath it…

  • Anpu

    Dear Editor
    I would like to thank Groundviews for this article and all the work you do. Please continue for the good of humanity.
    With best wishes
    Anpu

  • justitia

    Nimalaruban was beaten to death.
    The postmortem report which will confirm this, is being kept a secret -as all postmortem reports on bodies of persons dying in custody are, nowadays – by the perpetraters and the judiciary,which earlier ruled that his funeral is a matter of “national security”.
    Torture and deaths in custody, in sri lanka, were confirmed long ago by a UN Rapporteur.
    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=24457

  • Justice

    Here there is a blatant miscarraige of justice but we see no strikes or picketing by the black coated fraternity. Even the media is silent.

    Apparently justice is applied selectively and Nimalaruban is only an ordinary mortal and only a Tamil at that. So anyone can kill him and get away with it. This is why ordinary people have lost faith in the legal system. Truth and Justice died long time ago in Sri Lanka.

  • N. Ethirveerasingam

    Thank you Groundviews for publishing the video and news of this tragic event. I wonder whether the Minister of Justice, the Justices, the Lawyers and the IGO will do anything to bring those responsible for the sadistic crime against humanity to face justice.

  • R.M.B Senanayake

    This is a government of murderers, similar to Hitlers. Nazis. The killing of Jews was acceptable to the Germans of Hitler’s day. It seems to be that the killing of anybody is acceptable to the present regime, more so the killing of Tamils in cold blood. The Police is the police of Hitler.Things have to get worse before they get better. But we know that the mills of God although they grind slowly they grind exceedingly fine.

  • http://No Jim Hardy

    Pelting stones at court house is big issue for Bar Association, not a hum for murder in custody, this regime acting like the Syrian Assad regime, when our SriLankan cowards going to rise up.

  • luxmy

    GV for Justice
    GV for Peace/prosperity
    GV for Solidarity
    GV for Social Cohesion

    Thank you, GV

  • http://www.nirmanusan.blogspot.com Nirmanusan Balasundaram

    Thank you very much Groundviews for your another excellent initiative to bring-out an inhuman brutality and injustice.

    Even, I have experienced very similar solemn cries of mother’s, but below one is very powerful and moving.

    “Where is it written that you can be beaten to death? Which article is it written thus? I am not afraid of anyone. I don’t care who you are. Come and shoot me. I am not afraid. People need justice and the truth. The people who beat my son up are animals. My heart burns. Those who killed my son will suffer the same fate. I didn’t teach my son to steal or kill. My son’s father worked hard to raise my son. Nothing good will come to them. Shoot me, I am not afraid. Bullets can enter my heart. I will be in pain. But I am unafraid. I had my son after waiting twelve years. I enjoyed bringing my son up. If my child had done wrong, he should have gone to courts and received punishment. But what law has it that my child was tortured and killed? My son was hidden somewhere and killed. If you had killed my son in front of me, you would understand who I am. Now they have surrounded my house with thousands of guns. I have nothing. Come, if you can. From the hand that fed you string-hoppers, I now put ‘vaikkarasi’. Take me too, my son. My god, take me too and go.”

  • Rohini Hensman

    When I first heard about this incident, I thought immediately of the massacres of Tamil under-trials in Welikada in 1983. Are we heading in the same direction?

  • nelun harasgama

    we have no hope.again we are afraid.again we are silent.and again there is no justice.

    • Hettiararachi N

      Hensman:
      I thought not enough can be said about LTTE. Now why the crocodile tears!

  • Bipiri

    When I read this mother’s speech, my heart is weeping for her. Mahinda’s regime is as brutal as J.R’s and Premadasa’a. [Edited out]

  • Ian Ferdinands

    How many more lives? How much more corruption? How long more till we say enough is enough. We are indeed a sick nation.

    At least, Lets pass this on, so that others will know, of what is really happening. Thank you groundviews.

    • Elaine

      Disgusting is not the Word! Why cant they catch the real criminals? Sri Lankan law is this????? No wonder ppl dont want to live in this country anymore bcoz of such brutal ppl and those just like that who are governing this land! They think nothing of this would leak out to the world? The World is watching..it is seeing everything youa re doing to your own ppl SL! Shame on our nation. Taking innocent lives from a Mother and Father who waited 12 yrs to have a son. Lord, May justice be brought upon them.

  • Keynes!

    What’s the stand of Yapa, Off the Cuff and David Blacker on this?

    Are you’ll planning on giving a Parama Weera to the chap who beat up this poor soul?

    • Off the Cuff

      My stand is the same as yours if the call is for Justice.

      That second line is uncalled for, as you did not know what we stand for.

      • Keynes!

        The Parama Weera has been awarded to 23 odd persons for protecting the unity of this country and finishing off the separatists.

        Nimalaruban was a separatist. So, why not toss another to a person who finished off this separatist?

      • Off the Cuff

        Keynes!

        You should be advising those who award the Victoria Cross.
        Good Luck

      • Keynes!

        Off the Cuff,

        My namesake has a glorious history of doing just that! All you have to do is to wiki “The Economic Consequences of the Peace.”

        Now you know why I named myself after that man.

  • http://yahoo Sandy

    Watching this video made me weep. Just too sad.

    ‘Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking

    place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed –

    and they have no comforter.

    Power was on the side of their oppressors –

    and they have no comforter’ – Ecclesiastes 4 -

  • Mahen

    In a country where society women trouped ” en masse” to fight against the injustice of stray dogs being culled, a young man in remand is beaten to death by his own guards! Where are they now?
    Is this the practice of Buddhism in our beloved country!
    The pain and heart rendering cry of this poor mother is too gruesome to bear. I never thought that we will live to see such brutality in our mother land.
    Where do we go next?
    I thank the Ground views or their courage and conviction to publish this sad ale with full details.

  • Karl

    I really don’t understand how they can kill people like this. Though we are vowing that “loken uthum rata lankawai” I am so ashamed and embarrassed of my self being Sri Lankan. How many more lives? Why the hell these people don’t understand that these are Sri Lankans. Our people are getting killed. First Tamils, Then Muslims, and I really don’t think that this government dares to kill Sinhalese as well to stay in power.

    On the other hand what else we could expect from this government? [Edited out] And also, they are advised by uneducated monks who were forcefully joined to protect and sustain Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

    This is just the start my friends.

  • Pragmatist

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.
    – Pastor Martin Niemöller

    It is time for Sri Lankans of all ethnicities and religions to stand up and say “ENOUGH – STOP THIS MADNESS”

  • Daya

    Today, the innocents are dealing with a barbaric regime. But they say.. “Little incidents being blown out of proportion”. For them every barbaric action is a little incident.

  • dulan de Silva

    Virtually every government in Sri Lanka has been worse than the previous. I am ashamed to call myself a Sinhalese.

  • rita

    The problem is we haven’t got the fundamental principles affirmed:
    http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/08/02/sri-lanka-massacre-aid-workers-goes-unpunished

  • John

    It’s very sad indeed.Thank you GV.

    But there wasn’t any video men when children as small as 02 moths old were hacked to death by LTTE terrorists in front of their mothers & fathers in villages bordering northern & eastern provinces, Children saw how their mothers & fathers were hacked to death by blood sucking terrorists.
    Hundreds of children, mothers, fathers died in that way in those poor villages & we did not have any website sensationalized those cold blooded murders by terrorists, but people wept uncontrollably, when they saw their little children are killed in front of them.

  • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

    Police attempted to disrupt prisoner’s funeral: AFHR

    FRIDAY, 10 AUGUST 2012 19:01

    Activists for Human Rights (AFHR) today alleged that the Jaffna Police attempted to influence family members to conduct the funeral of Mariadas Navis Dilrukshan, this evening

    AFHR Executive Committee Member Udul Premarathne said the Jaffna Police officials had requested the Jaffna Magistrate to issue a court order to prevent a large crowd from attending Dilrukshana’s funeral.

    However, the Jaffna Magistrate had refused to issue such an court order and had advised the family to hold the funeral according to their wishes.

    Dilrukshan, a resident of Tathaypoor in Jaffna, was one of the 30 prisoners, who had to be hospitalised after being injured in the Vavuniya Prisons riot. He died on August 8 while being treated at the Ragama Hospital

    Meanwhile, Police media spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana confirmed the fact that the Jaffna Police had obtained a court order. However, he said it was not obtained with the intention of influencing the family to hold the funeral today, but to prevent the funeral from being made a political commotion.

    “The funeral will be held tomorrow but political rallies or speeches have been prohibited to be held concurrent with the funeral,” he added.(Lakna Paranamanna)

    Via http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/21027-police-attempted-to-disrupt-prisoners-funeral-afhr.html

  • Maurice

    I blame the Tamil Terrorist Diaspora for creating the Tamil terrorists who were the deadliest terrorists the world has ever seen.

    I also believe that the TTD is still actively seeking to arouse communnal hatred among communities.

    Sri Lankans, don’t take off your guard.

  • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

    The Fundamental Rights case of Ganeshan Nimalaruban was taken before the Supreme Court yesterday.

    The Bench consisted of: Mohan Peiris CJ, P. A Ratnayake PC J and S Hettige J.

    In the course of submissions by the petitioner’s lawyers, Chief Justice Mohan Peiris made the following remarks:

    “When the prison is under siege do you want the prisons commissioner have to read to them the Geneva Conventions?”

    The AG submitted a confidential report to the Court and Counsel Petitioner requested a copy to be issued to him. CJ Peiris said “Why do you need this? The court is not a place to get documents for the petitioners. This is the way you all procure the evidence and then circulate to the entire world to tarnish the image of the country.”

    “The executive submits confidential reports only for the eyes of judges particularly where national security issues are concerned.”

    Counsel for the Petitioner said everyone is entitled to the protection of law. Then the CJ responded, “The prisoners were engaging in a siege and they are entitled to the protection of law, provided they respect the law.”

    “Human rights are there to protect the majority and not the minority of criminals.”

    “There is an emerging human right for the right to be protected from terrorism.”

    “Counsel, you are not concerned about the country, you are giving a wrong signal to likeminded people.”

    Counsel for the petitioner referred to the injuries in the postmortem report establishing torture. The Chief Justice said, “We don’t send nursery children to quell a siege. You’ve got to expect injuries.”

    The medical report says there were injuries and that Nimalruban died of heart attack. There were 32 injuries and the siege would have led to the heart attack. The CJ said that there is a theoretical possibility of the death being caused not exclusively by heart attack. This jurisprudence should only be confined to the court room and not to be discussed elsewhere.

    Via http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1305/S00584/sri-lanka-ganeshan-nimalaruban-case.htm

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  • http://www.groundviews.org/ Groundviews

    The de facto Chief Justice exposed himself in the worst possible manner in courts today in the Fundamental Rights case filed by the parents of Ganesan Nimalaruban a prisoner in Vavuniya who died in custody following a riot.

    De facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris

    When counsel for the petitioner Saliya Pieriscommenced his submissions CJ Mohan Pieris said that the case must be concluded within the day as the victim Nimalaruban was a terrorist who had started the Vavuniya prison riot.

    When Counsel for the petitioner pointed out that there was no material before court to prove the victim’s connection to the riot, de facto CJ Pieris indicated he had personal knowledge about the incident.

    Via https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/de-facto-cj-exposed-himself-in-the-worst-possible-manner-in-courts/

  • http://www.groundviews.org/ Groundviews

    The CJ said that “If children are brought up well, they won’t be involved in these types of activities.” He then blamed the Petitioner (Mr Nimalaruban’s father) for bringing up his child in this manner.

    Via http://asiancorrespondent.com/114446/justice-denied-the-denouement-of-sri-lankas-nimalaruban-case/