July 23 (SMH) SUMITH Balapuwaduge knew he was being watched, and suspected the police would come for him one day. Some months earlier, he had been forcibly returned to Sri Lanka from Australia with his brother Indika, their claims for political asylum having been rejected.
Indika never even made it out of Colombo airport and was jailed straight away. So when the police van came and parked on the sandy road outside his home, Sumith came — peaceably, his wife insists — to the front door.
"They took him inside this house, and they beat him," Leena tells The Age as she sits on the porch of the brightly-coloured bungalow of their family home.
"He was on the floor, they were kicking and punching him. They hit him with batons. His son Suhas, who was four, was upset, and ran into the kitchen to get a weapon, a knife, to stop them hitting his father."
The police took no notice of the boy and took his bloodied father away.
Nearly two years on, he and Indika are still in jail. They have never had a trial. Police say they are part of a people-smuggling racket, but that case has never been made before a court.
Leena says their only crime was running from threats against their lives, their only mistake choosing to flee to Australia.