TELO suffers extortion hangover
[TamilNet, Friday, 15 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Some members of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), who visit taverns in Jaffna and Pt. Pedro towns to extort money, often end up drinking themselves silly instead, said sources in Jaffna.
TELO members, who have been up to this particular racket in the past fortnight, visit taverns to extort sums ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 rupees, but are sometimes told by the proprietors that they are not in a position to make the full payment at that point.
In that event, the racketeers demand alcohol instead - with predictable consequences.
There are instances when the extortionists leave the tavern reeling drunk and having run up bar bills almost to the amount that was left unpaid by the tavern owners, said sources.
This problem had become so severe that bar owners are even willing to make written representations to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) about the extortion racket and its unsavoury consequences, said sources.
Meanwhile, the TELO in a statement issued today said, that it had been unfairly accused of demanding kappam or extortion money.
The statementsaid that other persons in the guise of TELO members were involved in the racket. It requested members of the public who had been subject to such extortion to go to the TELO office and complain about it.