crime

Gov't to fight damages suit filed by family of dead Sri Lankan

94 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

94 Comments
Login to comment

It should have been an easy open-and-close case. I blame the immigration office for not deporting the illegal person immediately, thus creating more trouble for themselves.

You cannot just dump deportees in the sea, or at our nor their airports. You must have mutual arrangements with counterpart nations first but Sri Lank is not one of those, yet.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If she followed the laws she would still be alive today!!

If the immigration agents followed the laws she would still be alive today!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If she followed the laws she would still be alive today!!

The breaking of which laws deserve death? Visa overstay? Running a red light? Robbing a shrine?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If she followed the laws she would still be alive today!!

Yes, she clearly deserved to die for her crimes without a trial.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If she followed the laws she would still be alive today!! Rules are rules you are a guest in a country and when you visit you respect those laws and once your time is up you leave as you had signed and promised!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It should have been an easy open-and-close case. I blame the immigration office for not deporting the illegal person immediately, thus creating more trouble for themselves. It is not uncommon that a detainee in a US detention center dies while in custody or waiting! A detainee is not in the jail system yet, i.e. not incarcerated. Once a person is in the system, he/she will get meals, medical and dental checkup, and ... schooling or vocational training. I did the computer programming for a jail and therefore I know it. It was unfortunate that this woman had a medical issue. Who will pay for the autopsy? I can imagine this is true in all countries.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@nero

Are you aware of Europe's extension?!

Build a wall around Europe is impossible.

Your info about Australia is also wrong in every aspect.

Let's try not to wrote lies and misinformation on the comments.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Waah waah Japan bad.

Yet foreigners keep flocking to Japan and guess what ? They moan about Japan in Japan.

Frankly for immigration Japan should follow the lead of more enlightened countries like Australia that puts illegal migrants on a desolate island, or Europe that's building walls and bribing dictators to keep them.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Very good! Now you understand why Whisma was asking for the refuge status in Japan.

Under the current Japan's law, anyone for any reason, regardless of it being defined as refugee status under internationally agreed treaty or not , can apply for it endlessly, whereby they can dodge the deportation order. many of those unqualified are detained in these centers. The cancer of the system is almost clear and those who had crushed the bill to revise this stupid situation must well prepared themselves to protect their logics to do so.

As far as Whisma reportedly asking for it is concerned, it was simply because she wished for escaping from her ex-boyfriend. This is not Refugee Issue but something the police in Sri Lanka must deal with

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

kennyGMay 30  10:51 pm JST

What stupid is as stupid does

Just in case to avoid misunderstanding, this is addressed to a poster for his behavior in this discussion board. The decision of J-Govt to fight at the court is good, thereby, whatever possible undisclosed truths, if any, of this tragedy and hopefully possible fundamental problems in Japan's immigration system and its laws would be hopefully exposed to the Japanese citizen and foreigners residing in Japan. If Japan was to sweep this tragedy under the carpet, you just keep knee-jerk reacting against media's relentless one-way nitpicking reports . GOOD Japan didn't try to settle this out of court.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Hiroshi

Very good! Now you understand why Whisma was asking for the refuge status in Japan.

What concerns me a lot is that you think that all foreigners are English teachers. That's a common mistake.

There's lots of other foreigners: biologists, astronauts, fishermen, ...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Political detainees have been tortured in police and military custody in Sri Lanka. How can they say Japanese government is brutal and their government isn't?. If a Japanese were killed in their police and immigrant custody in Sri Lanka, Maybe the Japanese would get small money only to buy a flight ticket to Tokyo, while they would get enormous money to live an extravagant life in a mansion in Sri Lanka, if they win in Japan. Is it fair? and I wonder if Japanese want to learn English from a teacher from Sri Lanka ? and do we need foreign English teachers overseas? A few decade has past since we accepted English teachers from overseas but many Japanese still cannot even tell a way in English when they were asked in a street by a foreigner. Our English skill hasn't improved at all. these foreign teachers weren't instrumental in improving our English capability. We don't need foreign English teachers any more. just a waste of our tax.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

What stupid is as stupid does

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

people respect the law of the country they stay in.

Government officials must respect the law above all.

Same I should be punished if I cause your death, you should be punished if you cause my death.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Sovereign country so Japan can fight this.

All the replies indicate that other countries are so good. America for example how many immigrants die in immigration?

I hope government wins and that people respect the law of the country they stay in.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

therougouToday  06:56 pm JST

Try to refute them all in the Yahoo Japan in Japanese rather than passing your skewed impression.

Yahoo Japan is well known for its idiotic low-class comments. No point in responding there.

Well known by who? if I may ask. Please what makes it different from JT boards?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

therougouToday  06:56 pm JST

Try to refute them all in the Yahoo Japan in Japanese rather than passing your skewed impression.

Yahoo Japan is well known for its idiotic low-class comments. No point in responding there.

Try Twitter then

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

MURDER

Cambridge;: the crime of intentionally killing a person

Merriam-Webster; unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought.

Collins; Murder is the deliberate and illegal killing of a person.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Autopsy showed she was completely emaciated and choked on her own blood as a result of hypokalemic alkalosis.

In layman's terms: they killed her by structurally depriving her of essential nutrients over the course of two months.

https://www.reddit.com/r/japan/comments/v0c7ib/japan_govt_to_fight_damages_suit_filed_by_kin_of/

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Try to refute them all in the Yahoo Japan in Japanese rather than passing your skewed impression.

Yahoo Japan is well known for its idiotic low-class comments. No point in responding there.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Regardless of her visa status or the circumstances that put her in detention she was denied medical attention that lead to her death. Case closed! Pay up Japan!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

We are discussing a murder in the crime section of a news media.

If you want to discuss about visas and immigration legalities look in the politics section.

A young girl has been murdered. Please, be more respectful to her and her loved ones.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Do you want to know what Japanese people actually think about this? Just read the comments on Yahoo News. You will barely see any comment focusing on or even mentioning the fact that this woman DIED, let alone that it quite probably was Immigration's FAULT.

They just focus on saying she was illegally staying in Japan, and criticize that, and go on about defending how great and attractive for foreigners Japan is, and how they give illegal immigrants too many rights but in response those immigrants end up abusing Japan's absolutely benevolent immigration system, and how they need to protect the country from criminals that may come from overseas to destroy the utopia the hard-working Japanese made, which in turn was at least in part achieved because they didn't let bad foreign people in and therefor in superior Japanese hands alone of course their country prospered and blah blah blah. Their comments are quite literally that, but of course heavily euphemistically written, typical Japanese nonsense as old as the rising sun itself.

So they don't address the point at all, and not only that, they shift the blame to the person their system most likely MURDERED, all of that while congratulating themselves about how great their country is and how it has to stop being so lenient and benevolent. Absolutely insane. You think the Japanese Government has no shame at all for fighting this? Well it's not the government, it's the overwhelming majority of the Japanese. It's just a reflection of what Japanese society actually is behind all its hypocrisy and fake smiles.

I know I'm being harsh and that many other countries can be similiar, but Japan is the one I have had to endure and reading this news and what the Japanese dare to comment about it hits too close home and I seethe

Try to refute them all in the Yahoo Japan in Japanese rather than passing your skewed impression.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Desc, they DO have a point though. Why did she not just go home after her visa expired? I havent read any evidence that she was in any danger if she returned to Sri Lanka.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This just shows how the Japanese Government really feels about International People.

The Japanese government are only interested in defending "the system" and saving their own faces. Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali, (yes, she does have a name) is just collateral damage to Japans system, and her families lawsuit just a collateral nuisance to Japans bureaucrats. Change is many years overdue, but unfortunately the truculence of Japans government / bureaucrats knows no bounds.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

The whole immigration and asylum system in Japan is shameful

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

I hope the family wins!

and I hope this makes into the international news and pressures this govt to make real changes to the immigration center!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Gov't to fight damages suit filed by family of dead Sri Lankan

Japan's true colours.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

You don't go to a country thinking authorities will adapt to you. 

I'm not sure that anything in this case is suggesting that.

Know Japan before you come.

I've been here almost 30 years and am still learning what exactly Japan 'is'.

I presumed that someone being detained for overstaying a visa would be afforded basic medical care.

I know better now.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

It’s not about why she was detained, it’s about what happened when she was detained.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

So they J gov is basically saying the family should've been satisfied with their insincere apology, got it...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@cricky

Root cause analysis shows if she had not ever done any illegal thing she would probably still be well alive, objectively. I never said the treatment she received is right. It needs to be adressed of course.

Sad story. Sad result.

You don't go to a country thinking authorities will adapt to you. Japan is known for the bad treatment of foreigners, poor or among the most wealthy.

Being emotional does not lead to address the issue well, even less or no result in Japan.

You will never have the best medical treatment in the administrative retention center in Japan where she was.

Foreigners will always be second class citizens. It is in the law.

So yes I have the idea. Thinking ahead always. Truth lies in between.

RIP.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

@Jonathan Prin.

I totally agree with you!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@jonathenan Prin your logic is insane. So you are proposing her fate is on her sisters?, her ex boyfriend?,. Being a foreign woman out of visa time suddenly the laws of the land don’t apply?

That post really sums up the problem, you really have no idea. It’s her fault the staff ignored her condition? It’s her fault they after incarcerating her they lied to doctors and blocked any medical intervention, it was all her her fault

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Let's hope the government are forced to pay even more

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I dislike family suing for money. They did nothing to help her while in Japan.

She did report to authorities just because she was beaten by her then boyfriend. Otherwise she would be living as an illegal alien for long time, which I hope will never be acceptable too.

Two wrongs, with the authorities unable to save her as they should have done, does not a right.

Sisters are happy to get attention, free flights and money from international assistance for sure. I repeat they did nothing for their sister to deserve any damages.

Losing face for the authorities is not an option otherwise all illegal aliens will fake heavy medical conditions to stay forever in Japan., like in Europe.

I hope authorities will deport immediately to avoid any one further loss of life, since we all know things won't change (enough).

Know Japan before you come.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Japan is not gonna look good con the G7 summit this summer.

Any speech about human rights will trigger negative comments about the Japanese immigration system.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

OssanAmerica: "They will fight it but ultimately reach a settlement. The writing is on the wall. Clearly the Japanese Immigration system needs a serious top to bottom house cleaning in order avoid such incidents in the future."

I doubt they will settle at all, but the government will win. The courts will say, "While we recognize the government is guilty of negligence, we cannot find them guilty," the usual BS. Well, okay, they might offer 40,000 yen.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

They will fight it but ultimately reach a settlement. The writing is on the wall. Clearly the Japanese Immigration system needs a serious top to bottom house cleaning in order avoid such incidents in the future.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I hope this will be a lesson to those wanting to come live in this country. 2-3 yea

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Good luck to them. As many here know, even with overwhelming evidence you'll have a very hard time getting real justice or monetary damages from the Japanese government.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

They need to pay…how much is a life worth?

Well, according to the Japanese court - only 500,000 Yen. This is what they fined Dentsu for the death of Takahashi Matsuri (from overwork).

This is probably the sick reason the government has decided to fight the case. 156 million yen is way above 500,000 yen.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Sandamali is the 18th foreigner to die in custody in Japan since 2007.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Japanese government has just lost more face by fighting this damage suit. It will lose more face if they win. No doubt this publicity we further damage Japan's tourist industry and discourage foreign workers to work in Japan.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

JGOV will runaway as usual

1 ( +5 / -4 )

First of all, I hope she wins. Secondly, when an individual sues a government it's not fair because governments have unlimited funds. So, to make things fair, the government should pay her legal costs, win or lose. Or if they don't want to pay her costs, the government should be obligated to pay 100 times the asked damages if she wins. By the way, is anyone in jail yet?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I'm thrilled to hear that the Japanese government will be fighting this. I look forward to watching them fall flat on their face and make absolute fools of themselves while also shining more international attention on the abysmal manner in which the Japanese Detention System treats their detainees. They've already admitted to improper care and negligence. There's video footage of the victim suffering from medical issues. The Japanese government doesn't have a leg to stand on. This combined with their absurd idea of reintroducing tourists to Japan is just going to leave Japan shunned by the international community.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

InspectorGadget

So many things missing from this article

There was an article called FOCUS: Sri Lankan's dying agony disregarded in Japan immigration center (https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/03/de643a928d70-focus-sri-lankan-womans-dying-agony-disregarded-in-japan-immigration-center.html) on Kyodo News some days ago. I've not yet been able to read the full article, so I'm not sure if it will answer all your questions, but it will give you more information on what happened. It at least contains some disturbing information I was not aware of until I read part of the article.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The Immigration Services Agency of Japan said in an investigative report issued last August that the immigration center staff lacked awareness on handling crises but that it could not determine the precise cause of Wishma's death.

No ifs or buts, put this in front of a court in Japan, the focus will open and can of worms.

To not be able to determine the cause of death, when Japan has one of the most advanced system of diagnosing and so promoting preventative care will just add insult to injury.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So many things missing from this article

1) After complaining about health issues what medical attention (if any) did she recieve? Was it delivered in a timely manner?

2) What exactly did she die of? It says that a cause of death could not be determined, but surely an unexplained death in custody would trigger an automatic autopsy?

3) Was the cause of death preventable, if treated promptly?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

 a tiny silver lining is that this trial will probably bring a lot of things to the light and the reputation of the Japanese Government in regards of the treatment of people detained by the immigration office will suffer.

They said the same thing after Fukushima, they said the same thing about the Ghosn trial, they say the same thing about all of these major lawsuits, but guess what.... nothing will change.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The government is directly responsible for this lady’s death.

They need to pay…how much is a life worth?

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Be smart settle out of court.

The media, lawyers, UN special rapporteur will be queuing up to lick the living daylights out of the alleged systemic failures of/to a duty of care whilst detained by immigration authorities.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

No surprises here: the usual disgusting mix of banzai-posturing and misuse of tax-payers' money. How many times have we all seen the J-gov fighting something in court to try to save what face and reputation they lost, not only against foreigners but also against nationals.

These scoundrels would do anything to skimp responsibility and accountability. Simply disgusting.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

I really wish that turns out to be a case. However, given how the J gov is run and who it's run by (i.e., a very small group of very rich and very nationalistic people), it would take a significant amount of outrage (unheard of in this country at least since the 1970s) to push the government towards any meaningful change. I might be wrong though, which would be great.

You're not wrong at all. But the outrage has to come from the outside, where other countries denounce what happened. Only then will things change.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

she should of just gone back to Sri Lanka

Of course she should have. But so what? It doesn't absolve the authorities of the responsibility for detainees' welfare.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

One positive point for the battle may be to raise public awareness as all info will have to be shown before the court for the proceeding. The verdict will also set a precedent for similar cases.

I really wish that turns out to be a case. However, given how the J gov is run and who it's run by (i.e., a very small group of very rich and very nationalistic people), it would take a significant amount of outrage (unheard of in this country at least since the 1970s) to push the government towards any meaningful change. I might be wrong though, which would be great.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@ Alongfortheride

I truly sympathize with what you had to go through. It's pathetic and despicable how foreigners are treated when detained in this country.

There deceitful attempt to challenge this lawsuit and clear themselves of guilt is beyond reprehensible.

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

Wishma arrived in Japan on a student visa in 2017 to study the Japanese language but overstayed her visa, with her asylum application denied by immigration authorities.

so basically she overstayed her student visa for nearly three years. She could only work part time on that visa, so to support herself she must of done something illegal or been very rich. Then suddenly when caught, she magically becomes an asylum seeker. Twice in SE Asia I accidentally overstayed my visa. In one country I was charged US$50 a day and the other $100 a day.

she should of just gone back to Sri Lanka where a whole family can live on ¥500 day. If she took back just ¥200000 she would be well off. Or go to the UAE for work.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

No chance at all as losing face is not an option.

Carlos case is the best example.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

Doubt that they will have much luck suing the government, but they'll have better luck suing the Nagoya District Public Prosecutors Office

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Doubt they will have much luck suin

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It will be cheaper to just pay.

The cost of dragging this black comedy out longer by the government will cost far more than they are asking.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

The government will end up spending 3 times that amount fighting in court, better to just settle this case out of court, pay up and move on.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Good that J-govt fights the case rather than sweeping it under the rug. Hopefully all the truths would come out

with undisclosed portion of video footage... what exactly those NGO were suggesting her...everything

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Absolutely disgusting and a tragic waste of human life.

Zero honour. Zero courage. Zero brains, that’s the Japanese Government. I also think it would be nice if the populace was also less complacent.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

 hope she wins, and gets even more.

The plaintiff is most likely to win although "exemplary damages" verdicts are uncommon at the Japanese court.

Japan is just digging its own grave by fighting this case, there's no face nor honor to save in this battle. If she does win, I hope that there will be justice for all the other foreigners that are unjustly detained and treated in these centers.

One positive point for the battle may be to raise public awareness as all info will have to be shown before the court for the proceeding. The verdict will also set a precedent for similar cases.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I really hope they win this case. In 2006 I was rejected entry into Japan for no apparent reason at Centrair. The new Immigration centre had not been opened. I was locked in a janitors closet at the airport for 48 hours with no windows and no fresh air. They gave me no food and I was made to sleep on a make shift bed and sit on an old sofa both of which had someone else's blood on it.

0 ( +17 / -17 )

Good on the government to fight this. But they need to seriously change their system. No correct visa, deport. Failed asylum application, deport. Not lock them up like criminals.

don’t waste our tax money.

-13 ( +11 / -24 )

Where is the famous respect claimed my Japanese government? Cynical and Shameless word are not enough to express authorities reaction. Over those 156 millions that should be 1 billion, its all the prison system that have to be changed.

Easy the critics again China but Japanese prison you are treated like animals

4 ( +16 / -12 )

Japanese government are shameless.

Japanese authorities who are dishonest from at first about this issue had concealed many inhumane done.

15 ( +24 / -9 )

Japan is just digging its own grave by fighting this case, there's no face nor honor to save in this battle. If she does win, I hope that there will be justice for all the other foreigners that are unjustly detained and treated in these centers.

10 ( +24 / -14 )

J government- disgusting.

9 ( +24 / -15 )

how abt to held killers personally responsible?why their crimes have to be covered by money from taxpayers?

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Hope this family gets as much money as possible.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

This just shows how the Japanese Government really feels about International People.

10 ( +27 / -17 )

Human rights lawyers could well be for free as many people donate monies to fund their continual fight against abuses globally.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

So much for the Gov's *sincere apology** *an *deep reflection** *on the unfortunate incident.

EXACTLY! Proof of what many of us here were saying. Their response to her death was nothing more than cynical lip service.

a tiny silver lining is that this trial will probably bring a lot of things to the light and the reputation of the Japanese Government in regards of the treatment of people detained by the immigration office will suffer.

Hopefully media around the world will put this in the spotlight

THAT'S EXACTLY what we need. International spotlight and NAME and SHAME. Nothing seems to work better on the J Gov.

6 ( +21 / -15 )

The only plausible reason I can think of that the government would fight this in the first place is to delay the eventual outcome for years down the road, when people forget about it. It also forces the plaintiff to keep paying lawyers to follow the case as well.

Either that, or to "scare" others into not suing them as well!

4 ( +17 / -13 )

I’m just curious who’s paying legal fees for the Sri Lankan family. Surely they don’t have enough money to pay those human-rights lawyers.

-9 ( +10 / -19 )

Unfortunately a predictable outcome, a tiny silver lining is that this trial will probably bring a lot of things to the light and the reputation of the Japanese Government in regards of the treatment of people detained by the immigration office will suffer.

Hopefully media around the world will put this in the spotlight

22 ( +32 / -10 )

wonder what the odd of her sisters gettig locked up on some bogus charge are. probably not 0%

0 ( +17 / -17 )

They will spend more on fighting the damages law suit than it would cost to pay out.

And they will spend more time and resources on fighting the damages law suit than anyone spent on helping her when she was alive.

21 ( +27 / -6 )

They will spend more on fighting the damages law suit than it would cost to pay out. Where are these people educated?

22 ( +30 / -8 )

As with most of the individuals v J-gov lawsuits, the result will most likely be a comical payout or dismissal of the case. I hope I am proven wrong.

15 ( +27 / -12 )

The Immigration Bureau detaining sick people and not reporting the facts-covering up the facts?

Lying about Ms Sandamali’s condition leading to her death?

Not what an advanced country does, does it?

21 ( +38 / -17 )

The Japanese government will fight a 156 million yen ($1.23 million) damages lawsuit filed by relatives of a Sri Lankan woman who died last year while in custody at an immigration center in central Japan, sources close to the matter said Sunday.

Your tax yen at work to cover up a J. bureaucracy murder.

25 ( +40 / -15 )

Gov't to fight damages suit filed by family of dead Sri Lankan

So much for the Gov's *sincere apology** *an *deep reflection** *on the unfortunate incident.

37 ( +42 / -5 )

What a heart warming story about compassion and responsibility that sits in the hearts of bureaucrats.

32 ( +40 / -8 )

Gov't to fight damages suit filed by family of dead Sri Lankan

They want to fight? immigration bureau provide false information to doctor who examined her that lead to her death. Even when she passed out no body give her direct treatment at that time.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210703/p2a/00m/0na/016000c

31 ( +45 / -14 )

I hope she wins, and gets even more.

40 ( +60 / -20 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites