Eight "white van" abductions in Jaffna in 3 days

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 February 2007, 01:10 GMT]
Eight Tamil male civilians have been abducted by unidentified armed men in white vans within seventy two hour period beginning Wednesday, Jaffna branch of Human Rights Commission (HRC) officials said. According to complaints registered at the HRC office by the victims relatives, three men were abducted on Wednesday and five on Friday.

Details of the five abductions on Friday follow:
  1. On Friday afternoon at 4:00 pm, S.Ramanakumar, 28, of Suthumalai North, Manipay was abducted while he was walking along the street by a group of armed men who suddenly arrived at the scene.
  2. Friday midnight 12:15am five armed masked men abducted Y.Kabilan, 27, a resident of Ramanathan Road , Nayanmarkaddu, Nallur in the presence of his parents.
  3. Friday 1:00 am in the afternoon, Ariyanesan Vijeykumar, 29, a family man from Chunnakam was abducted at gun point while he was at his mother-in-law's residence in Mallakam.
  4. Joseph Thevakaran, 32, temporarily residing in the camp for displaced persons at Chankanai was forcibly abducted while riding on a bicycle with his wife. The couple was stopped by three Sri Lanka Army( SLA) soldiers Friday morning at 9:00 a.m., and while the couple was being interrogated, a group of armed men arriving in a white van forcibly took the husband away in the presence of his wife. SLA soldiers ignored Mrs. Thevakaran's pleas for help, according to the complaint.
  5. Chelliah Nixon, 29, a father of three, was removed from his home on Mullai road, Ariyalai Friday night by unidentified men who arrived in a white van.


Meanwhile, three civilians were reported missing on Wednesday. Details of the missing men follow:

  1. Jeusuthasn Jeyaratnam, 29, originally of Ward 2 Allaippidy, in the island of Kayts, residing in Navanthurai, disappeared while biking from Navanthurai towards his home town. According to complaint lodged by Jesuthasan's wife, some of her husband's relatives had witnessed Jeyanathan being questioned by SLA troops on Pannai causeway, prior to his disappearance.
  2. Velliyan Mohanasuntheram, 35, a married man from Thenmaradchy, Kaithady North disappeared Wednesday on his way to meet his relatives in Sirupiddy.
  3. Yoganathan Ramesh, 34, of Allen Road, Kantharmadam, Jaffna, employed by HALO Trust, an organization involved in the humanitarian task of removing land mine, was abducted while traveling to his office located in Nallur, 3 km from his residence. He is the tenth employee of HALO Trust to be abducted. Nine other employees of this organization disappeared during three previous incidents. Despite concerns that HALO employees are being selectively targeted by unidentified abductors, the organization will continue its service, a spokesman for the organization said.
Although cases of extra judicial arrests, killings and disappearances have escalated in Jaffna Peninsula, and the Sri Lankan armed forces and collaborating paramilitaries are alleged to be behind the disappearances, so far no actions have been taken, civil sources and human rights activists said.


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