10 Navy Officers exposed on Gotha’s Secret Camp in Trincomalee

Sooka’s organisation ready to share details on cells

More details have surfaced on the secret cells said to have being in operation at the Trincomalee Navy camp, including the names of the Navy officers alleged to have been involved in taking detainees to the site.

The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, which concluded a visit to Sri Lanka last week, said that the detention cells at the Trincomalee Navy camp could not have been in operation without the knowledge of the top officials.

Now an organization led by Yasmin Sooka, a former member of the UN Expert Panel on Sri Lanka, also known as the ‘Darusman panel’ says it has the names of the Navy officers involved in transporting detainees to the Trincomalee camp.

The Working Group visited the Navy Base in Trincomalee and the underground cells used in the past to secretly detain people. It also met with the CID officers who are investigating the case of 11 individuals who were abducted in Colombo in 2008 and brought to Trincomalee.

The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) of which Yasmin Sooka is the Executive Director, said it has given the UN Working Group gave the GPS coordinates for the location of the secret cells in the camp (GPS: 8’33’26’13 N, 81’14’32’87 E) and the names of naval intelligence officers whom witnesses say were in charge of the site.

This information as well as detailed site sketches by survivors was shared by ITJP with WGEID in a confidential written submission before their visit to Sri Lanka.

ITJP says it is prepared to the release the names and ranks of 10 naval members whom survivors state were involved in torture at this site, as well as the details of an officer and other guards present who were fully aware of the torture going on.

According to ITPJ, some detainees were taken from Point Pedro in Jaffna to the Trincomalee detention center and ITPJ says it has the names of the Point Pedro personnel involved in transporting detainees to Trincomalee.

It also revealed the names of two marine intelligence officers allegedly in charge of the Trincomalee secret site from 2009-2012.

ITPJ says the Government must question the Naval Commanders in office during this period to ascertain if they knew of the existence of this secret detention site.

Meanwhile CID sources said that more illegal detention centers could exist at other locations around the country.

According to CID sources, even if such detention centers are in operation within camps, they cannot be subjected to inspection without a court order. (Colombo Gazette)