Mother of Catholic worker killed by police demands justice

» 09/02/2011 12:06

by Melani Manel Perera
In a commemorative march, she asks for an impartial and a fair inquiry into the murder of the young working-class Catholic Roshen Chanaka. Christian-Buddhist ceremony in his honor prevented for “political pressure”. The boy died on May 30 last year in clashes between police and workers, in protest over pensions. Bishops’ Conference appeal to the government.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – “My son Roshen did not die, he was killed by police when he showed his solidarity with Christian colleagues of the Free Trade Zone (FTZ), says the mother of the 21 year old Catholic worker, who died on 30 May during clashes with security forces. Last night, in the FTZ, a thousand people marched to commemorate the young man, asking for a real investigation and a fair compensation for his assassination.

FTZ workers, workers, Catholics, priests, nuns and representatives of NGOs marched carrying a poster of the boy and shouted “Roshen, you sacrificed your life for all workers of the Free Trade Zone”.

“We are still waiting for the special report on his death – says one of the murdered youth’s brothers – but three months on it has not yet been published. It could contain the truth about his murder. ”

Fernando Brito, president of Families of Disappeared, denounces: “We had organized an interfaith Christian-Buddhist ceremony to commemorate the Catholic youth. Instead, the director of the Amandoluwa temple was pressured by police and political interests basically closed the doors on us”.

Roshen Chanaka, 21, was an employee of the Free Trade Zone. Injured in the police attack on thousands of workers who were demonstrating against the new pension scheme (see AsiaNews, “Police charge 18,000 workers, Catholics condemn the crackdown“). The boy died shortly after at Ragama Teaching Hospital (Western Province).

Meanwhile, the Episcopal Conference (Cbcsl) has released a statement in which it urges the government “to meet the family’s demands for justice, and to carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the cause of the young man’s death, so the nation may know the truth.”