In December 2007 CPA filed a fundamental rights application on the numerous reports with regard to the mass arrest and detention of Tamil persons during search operations carried out in Colombo and the suburbs. CPA further stated that many of the persons who were arrested and detained were not informed of the reasons for their detention and subsequent arrest and that the families of the detainees were not provided with information or receipt of the arrest as per the Presidential Directives on Arrest and Detention. CPA, in its petition sought that immediate steps may be taken to halt the conduct of large scale, ad hoc and arbitrary arrests of persons of Tamil ethnicity in and around the city of Colombo, and to formulate a proper and transparent mechanism and procedures consonant with the Constitutional safeguards, to duly and properly investigate terrorist activities with complete and unretarded safeguards that would effectively secure the fundamental rights of Tamil civilians.
The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) was formed in 1996 in the firm belief that there is an urgent need to strengthen institution- and capacity-building for good governance and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka and that non-partisan civil society groups have an important and constructive contribution to make to this process. Focusing primarily on issues of governance and conflict resolution, CPA is committed to programmes of research and advocacy through which public policy is critiqued, alternatives identified and disseminated.