Search operation in Valaichenai
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The male residents of six villages near Valaichenai town, 30 km north of Batticaloa, were severely assaulted by Sri Lankan Army (SLA) troops during a cordon and search operation between 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. today, said sources in Valaichenai.
The cordon and search operation came in the wake of a confrontation between the SLA and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Peythalai, on the shore of the Valaichenai lagoon last night, where a SLA soldier was killed.
About 500 males, both young and old, were rounded up this morning and made to sit on the road under the burning sun. Some of the men were cuffed and kicked while they sat on the road, said sources in Valaichenai.
They were later taken to the SLA's Habour Camp in Valaichenai where they are currently detained for interrogation.
The assaults continued even while the men were being marched to the camp, said sources.
The detainees are being released in batches after interrogation.
Meanwhile the SLA sentries at the Harbour Camp fired into the air to disperse a crowd which had gathered nearby to find out what had become of the detainees.
There was no information of any arrests being made, said sources.