A memorial ceremony was conducted on Sunday to mark the first death anniversary of death for the Sri Lankan woman who died while being held in the central immigration center in Japan in the year 2021 amid calls across the country to review Japan’s detention process deportees.
More than 50 people traveled through the harsh rain to participate in the Buddhist ceremony in Aichi Prefecture for Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma. Her sister, 27, Poornima, and others who were previously detained in Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau where Wishma was detained attended the ceremony in which Wishma was detained.
There were both Japanese and Sri Lankan rites held in the temple, where the remains of Wishma’s are stored, along with her sister thanking everyone for their presence.
Wishma passed away, aged 33, on March 6, last year, at the immigration center after a month of ailments, such as stomachaches and vomiting.
“We are so sorry for the family and pledge not to allow anything like this to occur once again,” stated Shoichi Ibusuki, an attorney for defense representing her family.
The action came after her family filed a lawsuit against the government on Friday, asking for the sum of 156 million in yen ($1.35 million) for damages. The family claims she was unlawfully detained and passed away due to insufficient medical care.
She was on a student visa in 2017 to study the Japanese language, but the visa was not renewed, and immigration authorities refused her asylum application.
Demonstrations took place across the country on Sunday to demand better treatment in Japanese detention centers, as well as a review of Japan’s rigid refugee recognition program. Around 300 protesters marched past one detention center in central Tokyo.