198 Tamil youths arrested in cordon, search in Colombo

[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 January 2008, 20:05 GMT]
198 Tamil youths were arrested in Colombo and suburbs during a large scale cordon and search operation conducted by the Sri Lanka armed forces Sunday, Senior Inspector General of Police M.K.Ilangakone said. The arrested included several young women.

Although civil society sources speculated that more than 300 Tamil civilians were arrested during this operation, the police claimed that only 198 were arrested.

Deputy Minister R.Rathakrishnan has contacted the Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police M.K.Ilangakone and requested him to release those arrested without any valid reasons.

Mr.Rathakrishnan also visited some police stations where the arrested Tamils are being detained.

Meanwhile, the parents of the arrested Tamil youths met the Deputy Minister and requested his assistance to get their children released.

The parents have also appealed to Dr. Wickramabhahu Karunaratne, the leader of New Leftist Front, to help them to get their children out of the hands of the Police.

A number of vehicles along the main routes as well as side roads were stopped at snap road blocks and more than 500 civilians investigated during the operation.

All vehicles traveling along Galle road from Mount Lavinia up to Colpetty were stopped at various check points in Bampalapitiya and Colpetty, and subjected to intensive search.

In another round of search operations, all vehicles proceeding from Colpetty Navaloka private hospital as well the vehicles passing through Slave Island and Lake House to Fort were stopped and the passengers subjected to thorough search.

This was followed by search of all buses parked in bus stops in Fort and Pettah. The buses were earlier checked at three check points, the passengers said.

In another phase of the large scale search operation, vehicles proceeding towards Katunayake International Air Port and those proceeding towards Colmbo via Gampaha and Wattala were stopped at Kelani Bridge and the passengers searched.

Traffic was held up for several hours and huge traffic lines built up for nearly five hours along all roads during the search.


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