2ND LEAD (PHOTOS ADDED)

Strategy behind rights violations said not exposed

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 October 2007, 06:55 GMT]
The gross statistics on death and disappearances in Jaffna is known to everyone, and they paint a picture of military rule, but "the real reason behind the violations, the Sri Lankan military machine conducting the death theatre, and the depth of fear instilled into the civilians in Jaffna to witness against the perpetrators, are not exposed to the world," said Liberation Tigers Human Rights Spokesperson N. Selvy as hundreds of crying family members of the victims were blocked in Jaffna by the Sri Lanka Army from seeing the visiting High Commissioner Louise Arbour, on Friday. The SLA blocked journalists from entering the UNHCR office, GA's office, UN office and the Bishop's House.

Louise Arbour's meeting with religious dignitaries and civil society representatives at Bishop's House in Jaffna


Ms. Louise Arbour arrived at Jaffna Government Agent's office at 11:00 a.m. where the visiting High Commissioner was briefed by the GA, K. Ganesh. The meeting lasted for more than 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers deployed around the GA's office blocked hundreds of family members of the disappeared and civilians and the relatives of those who have sought humanitarian protection, from seeing Louise Arbour.

After the meeting with the GA, the UN High Commissioner, visited the Bishop's House where she also met civil society members and some of the family members of arrested and disappeared victims in Jaffna.

The UN representatives also visited the UNHCR office located at Nalloor Temple Road where the Sri Lanka Army forcefully evicted two journalists from the entrance.

The SLA did not allow media persons to enter the premises of Jaffna District Secretariat (GA's office).

Journalists attempting to reach Bishop's House were delayed by the Sri Lankan soldiers on Jaffna Main Road. When they finally managed to reach Bishop's House, they were not allowed to enter the premises by the military.

North Ceylon Journalists Association (NCJA) representatives told TamilNet that the local journalists were subjected to direct threats by the military officials not to cover the visit by the UN High Commissioner.

Louise Arbour, the visting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, meeting the family members of missing persons in Jaffna, at the gate of Bishop's House on Friday


Hundreds of family members and relatives of the victims had gathered outside the Human Rights Council office, the Bishops' House, the UNHCR office, the SLMM office, and the Jaffna District Secretariat.

Only a few were allowed to meet Louise Arbour at the Bishop's House.

Hundreds of people were seen outside the HRC, SLMM , and UN offices despite heavy presence of the Sri Lanka Army soldiers.

The soldiers took video pictures of the civilians who were standing outside these offices.

Meanwhile, LTTE's Human Rights spokesperson charged that the abductions and killings, "sponsored by the Sri Lankan state," are continued at an alarming rate even during the stay of Ms. Louise Arbour in the island. She further said that the Human Rights unit of the Tigers had forwarded a case of a family where the remaining members had managed to get out of Jaffna and were able to speak to Ms. Louise Arbour without fear.


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