Ms. JeyaGanesh Pakeerathy was a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Sea Tigers unit for around four years (exact years unknown). She was heavily injured and was discontinued in 2000. After receiving intensive treatment at home, she recovered. However, even today she is unable to do heavy work.
In 2003, she married a man who was active in collecting funds and was involved in propaganda work for the LTTE in France. Her husband is a French Citizen. It was a customary marriage. They were officially registered in 2004. The marriage took place in Thailand. She left to France in 2005 on an ‘Immigrant Visa’ ( not sure if this is the official word for it). She was sponsored by her husband. However three years ago, her husband filed for divorce. The order of the Court was delivered on the 8th of January 2012. The Court had made an order for their divorce, for Pakeerathy to have the custody of her daughter and for her husband to pay the maintenance for her daughter. However according to the family, the order only comes in to effect in June 2015. Hence, legally she is still married to her husband.
Her daughter, JeyaGanesh Pakalvi who was born in 2006 as a result of this marriage. She is a French Citizen. She is currently attending school in France and came to Sri Lanka with her mother during her vacation. School starts again on the 3rd of March 2015 for her.
Arrival in Sri Lanka
On the 3rd of February 2015, JeyaGanesh Pakeerathy arrived in Sri Lanka. The purpose of her return was to see her parents. Her mother was suffering from cancer and had undergone surgery. The father too had a recent heart attack.
On the 12th of February, a two officers identifying themselves as TID had visited their house in Kilinochchi. One called himself ‘Vijithabandara’. Since Pakeerathy was not there, her father had asked both the Officers to come the next day. So the Officers had returned on the 13th of February, and recorded a statement from her about her connections with the LTTE and about her husband. She mentioned that she had a flight on the 2nd of March early morning. Thereafter they did not hear back from the TID Officers in Kilinochchi. Prior to this, two days after she arrived in Kilinochchi, two men identifying themselves as Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had visited their home for a general inquiry.
On the 1st of March 2015, at around 2.30pm, when Pakeerathy and her relatives were about to leave to the airport to catch the flight, TID Officers delivered a letter to her asking her to be present at the TID Office in Colombo the following day at 9.00am. When she mentioned that she had a flight early morning of 2nd March, and that she would stay on if they would buy her another ticket, no answer was forthcoming.
Hence she proceeded to the airport with a group of her relatives. At the airport, on 2nd March, the TID prevented her daughter and her from checking in, and from 2.30am in the morning to 8.30 am, she was in kept TID custody at the Airport. Her relatives (which included 2 small children) also stayed behind at the airport. However they were not allowed to see her. At 8.30am on the 2nd of March, both of them were released, and they were asked to go to the 2nd floor of the TID Office in Fort. Paheerathy and her daughter, and all her relatives drove back to the said TID Office. They reached there at around 10.15am.
There Paheerathy and her daughter was taken inside the building, while all her relatives were asked to stay out. At around 3.00pm, she and her daughter were taken by the TID to the Magistrate Court No 5 in Hulftsdorp. Paheerathay’s family contacted a lawyer and asked her to appear. Since the lawyer was not available at Hulftsdorp, the lawyer instructed the family to request the TID to hold on the matter for thirty minutes. The family had informed the TID that a lawyer has been arranged to appear and to wait for a while. However the TID had said, that they do not need a lawyer, and that they will take care of the matter and had taken her inside Court. The relatives stayed outside and hence do not know what transpired in Court. However when Paheerathy came out she informed them that the Court has ordered for her daughter and her to remain in TID custody.
The TID had informed the brother to bring some clothes for his sister. At 5.00 in the evening, a family member, together with the lawyer went inside the TID building. The lawyer requested to see Paheerathy, from an Officer who called himself ‘Bandara’. He refused permission and said that lawyers need to get permission in writing from the Director- TID. Though it was explained to him that it was legally not correct for them to have produced Paheerathy before Courts when the relatives have informed them that a lawyer was available, Bandara had said, that, they can even keep her without producing her to Courts.
When asked about why she was being detained, he said, that firstly she was in the Sea Tigers, and secondly she was trying to regroup the LTTE in France. He said the daughter was also in custody, as the Magistrate had ordered the daughter to stay with her. He also said, that Paheerathy had lied to the TID and had hidden the fact that she was flying early morning on the 3rd of March. He also mentioned that the family was supposed to come to the TID at 9.00am and they only arrived at 10.00am. The lawyer explained the actual position, however he continued to deny access.
The family was allowed to take clothes to Paheerathy. When the relative came out he said that Banadara had informed him, that the actual reason they are keeping Paheerathy is that they wanted to get her husband to come down, to which the relative had said that ‘even if you hang my sister he will not come back’. He had explained about her divorce.