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Former Navy Spokesperson’s daughter calls for his release

Manjari Dassanayake, the daughter of former Navy Spokesman Commodore D.K.P Dassanayake, said that her father should immediately be released from custody.

Speaking outside a meeting of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on Friday, she said the visiting working group had declined a request to visit her father at the Prison Hospital where he is being held.

“(He’s also an) arbitrary detainee, and these special delegates came to Sri Lanka to investigate arbitrary detainees … and they interviewed all LTTE people, but not war heroes,” she said.

Commodore Dassanayake and five others were arrested in July on the charge of aiding and abetting the abduction and disappearance of 11 Tamil youths in 2008 and 2009.

He has been held in legal custody since July, and Magistrate judges have repeatedly denied his requests for bail, citing the seriousness of the allegations. “Without any credible evidence against him he’s been kept in remand for 6 months, and the CID has not been prepared to consent for bail being granted to my father,” Manjari Dassanayake said. Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered that Dassanayake be transferred from the Welisara Navy Hospital to the Prison Hospital last month, saying the Navy hospital could not be considered a “public hospital” under the Prisons Act.

Commodore Dassanayake has made an application requesting his case be transferred to a higher jurisdiction.