6 youths disappear near Chemmani

[TamilNet, Sunday, 22 October 2006, 15:33 GMT]
Six youths have been reported missing near Chemmani, the gateway between Valigamam and Thenmaradchy, within five days from Monday 16 October, the Human Rights Council (HRC) officials said in Jaffna Sunday.

Two brothers from Kantharmadam in Jaffna, Mohanathas Kannathas, 29, and Rajaji Thavaraj, 28, were reported missing on their way to Thenmaradchi, in a complaint filed by the relatives with the HRC, sources said.

51-4 Brigade of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) operates in the area west of Chemmani and another brigade of the SLA's 55th division operate in the Forward Defense Lines (FDLs) near Ariyalai South, Kilali areas. The two brigades control the areas Navatkull, Kaithadi and Chemmani and are widely believed responsible for the disappearances of the youths, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

However, officials from both brigades have rejected the accusation and said that they are unaware of the disappearances, sources said.

HRC officials said that many disappearances are not reported to them, and they believe the number of disappearances are higher than officials figures indicate.

Alarming escalations in the disappearances near Chemmani have raised the spectre of infamous Chemmani mass graves.

More than 600 civilians, mostly young men and women, who were arrested by the Sri Lanka army in Jaffna during 1996-97, believed to have been murdered and buried in Chemmani. Despite many appeals and protests by the Missing Persons Guardian Association (MPGA) and other community organisations in Jaffna for several years, Governments of Sri Lanka failed to conduct proper investigations to avoid implicating the security forces of the crime.


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