Refugees allege were raped, robbed by Sri Lanka Navy men

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 March 2005, 11:30 GMT]
A group of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees alleged in a complaint to the Mannar Citizensí Committee Wednesday that they were beaten, robbed and molested on a sandbank in the seas off Mannar last Saturday by five men suspected to be Sri Lanka Navy personnel. They also alleged that several refugee women were raped by the sailors. Thalaimannar Police Tuesday admitted to Mannar Base Hospital Ms. Rajitha Rajan, 25, one of the refugee women who were allegedly raped on the sandbank, for medical tests.

The womanís husband, Mr. Mylvaganam Rajan, 28, Wednesday lodged a complaint with the President of the Mannar Citizensí Committee that his wife was raped at gunpoint by men whom he suspected to be Sri Lanka Navy personnel.

He said his family is from Analaithivu, an island off the Jaffna peninsula. They had fled their village when war broke out in 1990.

His family was in the group of refugees who were beaten, molested and robbed of all their belongs by five armed men on a sandbank in the seas off Thalaimannar where they had been abandoned by some Indian boatmen last Saturday.

Ms. Rajitha was transferred to the Anuradhapura Hospital Wednesday for further tests for rape.

Mr. Sellappah Raveendran and Mr. Rajah Ravikanthan who were also in this group of refugees said in their complaint to the Citizensí Committee that the gunmen suspected to be SLN sailors raped five women and molested others. There were 27 females in the group of refugees, including small girls.

Police investigating the incident took twenty persons from the group to the sandbank to look for evidence and clues about the crime Tuesday, according to Mr. Nissanka Ebert Silva Headquarters Inspector for Thalaimannar.

No one has been arrested in connection with the crime so far, he said.

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