10/30/2009

A psychiatric patient beaten to drown in Colombo as police observes the crime



(October 30, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Sri Lanka's Colombo Crime Division is investigating an incident of police or any other group assaulting a psychiatric patient compelling the latter to jump to sea and to drown.

The ill-fated man reportedly threw stones at trains running  along the coastal railway in Colombo city off Babbalapitiya railway station. Two persons suspected to be the members of either police or the security forces beat him to drown in sea in the attempt to escape from attacks. Lakbima newspaper reported that the police and a large number of others were observing the crime without taking action. The newspaper also said that a private television channel, TNL, has videoed the crime.(Watch video)

Sri Lanka Navy divers were searching for the corpse of the dead man yesterday (29) evening.

Protecting human rights of the psychiatric patients is very low in Sri Lanka. Many of the psychiatric patients are among the lowest income groups in the society and they are in extreme poverty. Lack of free medicine in public hospitals and the unavailability of viable welfare service for these persons have resulted public nuisance.

Around 2% of Sri Lankans are suffering from serious mental illnesses, according to WHO records. However, the country has 35 psychiatricians for the entire 20 million population.


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