-Had been detained for 7 months due to visa issue
-Reason for death unknown but impartial probe assured
By Sunil Jayasiri
A 33-year-old Sri Lankan woman, who was being detained at an Immigration detention Centre in Nagoya, Japan had died on March 6, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Tokyo said yesterday.
“She was there at the detention centre since August last year as her visas expired,” an embassy spokesman told the Daily Mirror yesterday.
Following the death, a team led by Minister at the SL Embassy Roshan Gamage had visited the Centre in Nagoya and met the authorities at the centre. “The authorities had promised us there would be an impartial investigation into the incident and assured us to give a full report soon,” the spokesman said.
According to initial investigations, the victim, who is from Gampha in Sri Lanka had arrived in Japan in 2017 as a student. However, Japanese immigration authorities had detained her in last August with the expiry of her visa. Later she had been moved to the Nagoya detention centre, which accommodates foreigners without status of residence.
Accordingly, the woman had continuously complained about the food that she was given at the centre and due to that she had become weak.
The embassy spokesman said that the immigration official had informed that on six occasions doctors had checked the woman and at least she had been admitted to the hospital twice.
“The cause of death is unknown yet until the authorities give a verdict on it,” the spokesman said adding that “we are awaiting the report and we already informed about this to the Japanese Foreign Ministry asking for an impartial investigation into it.”
Accordingly, the Japanese Justice Minister had directed the authorities to conduct a separate impartial investigation about the matter,” the spokesman added.
He said that the family in Sri Lanka had been informed about this unfortunate incident and future steps including the dispatch of the remains would be taken accordingly.
‘I really want to eat now’
Several Japanese media had reported about the Sri Lankan woman's death at the Nagoya Centre saying that it was due to ‘Not receiving appropriate treatment’.
According to one media, Letters and illustrations sent by a debilitated and dead Sri Lankan woman from the camp of the Nagoya Regional Immigration Bureau to some support groups saying that "I really want to eat now".
Another media quoting a support group START, stated that the woman was so weak that she couldn't eat or walk due to mental stress and poor physical condition, and she had a bucket during the visit because she vomited. A copy of the reason for the application for provisional release in December last year says in Roman letters, "I want to go to the hospital and get an IV drip, but the immigration bureau will not take me."