NGO condemns military pressure

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Organisation for Social and Economic Development, a non governmental organinsation (NGO) working in the Vadamaradchi region of the Jaffna peninsula, issued a statement yesterday condemning the Sri Lankan Army's (SLA) frequent house-to-house searches conducted during the night.

The statement said: "In the pretext of protecting the Tamils, with the use of military pressure, the new SLA commander has put in to force an oppressive practise.

If these search operations and arrests that put people in to extreme hardships continue, the army will have to face the consequences.

We condemn the night time search operations".

The NGO added that the operations had commenced following orders given last week by the new SLA commander for the region, Brig Sanath Karunaratne.

Residents had complained to the Brigadier earlier that the searches were causing them extreme hardships.

However, the Brigadier had explained to them that the operations were being conducted for their own security and asked the residents to co-operate with the Army.

Meanwhile the SLA has announced that people living outside the Vadamaradchi area will no longer be allowed to stay over night in houses in the region without first obtaining permission from the Army, said sources.

Only those who are able to give a satisfactory reason for overnight stay in Vadamaradchi will be given permission to do so, the Army said.

Following the announcement a 60 year old man who had visited his daughter in Vadamaradchi was sent out of the region by the Army, as he could not give an satisfactory explanation for his over night stay, said sources in Jaffna.


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