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* Arrested Sri Lankan university students agreed to be rehabilitated - police
Fri, Dec 21, 2012, 12:15 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka police have said that the four arrested Jaffna University students, who are at a rehabilitation camp following their arrest, are undergoing rehabilitation on their own free will and they were not forced.

Police Media Spokesperson, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Prishantha Jayakody has told Ceylon Today that despite claims made by student unions and human rights movements, the four undergraduates agreed to be rehabilitated willingly, and were not forced by the police.

SSP Jayakody has said that the students were placed under arrest as they had been involved in terrorism related activities.

The police arrested 11 students of the Jaffna University last month on charges of supporting terrorist activities following the clash between university students and the security forces on November 27th when the students tried to commemorate the dead fighters of the former terrorist organization on its Heroes' Day (Mahaveer Day).

Seven out of the 11 students taken in to custody last month have been released and the remaining four students have been sent to a rehabilitation camp in Welikanda.

New York-based Human Rights Watch Thursday urged the Sri Lankan government to formally charge or release the four university students.

The Marxist party affiliated Inter University Students' Federation (IUSF) has said that the undergraduates were arrested not for terrorism, but for commemorating the Heroes' Day on 27 November.

Heroes' Day was marked by the banned terrorist organization of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to pay tribute to the Tamil Tiger suicide bombers and other fighters died in the war. Celebrating the LTTE events is considered as a subversive act under the Terrorism Prevention Act.

The convener of IUSF has said that the undergraduates were arrested and detained without obtaining a court order and that such detention and arrests are completely against the law.

The police spokesman has however pointed out that a court order is not required for the arrest of suspects and the police were completely within their rights to arrest the students.

The Student Federation of the Jaffna University meanwhile, said it will not call off boycotting the classes that students and some faculty members launched after the arrest until the detained students are released.

** Related Story :: Sri Lankan movement protests demanding the release of Jaffna University students

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