Civilians call for transfer of Aalaiyadiveambu STF Commander
[TamilNet, Monday, 17 March 2008, 01:11 GMT]
Civilian groups in Aalayadiveampu in Akkaraipattu police division, Ampaa’rai district, are agitating for the immediate transfer of the Thirukkoayil Special Task Force (STF) commander after he failed to attend a special meeting convened Saturday by higher officials to discuss sexual abuse of women by unidentified armed men, local sources said.
The meeting held to allay the fears of the general public regarding recent activities of unidentified armed men involved in sexually abusing women in the area was attended by many higher officials of Sri Lanka Army (SLA), a number of doctors, District Secretary, Grama Sevakas (village level administrators) and many prominent members of the public.
Failure of the commander of the STF camp to attend the meeting has raised suspicions of his complicity in the sexual harassment of women, local residents said.
During the past few weeks a number of armed men have been attempting to force themselves into several homes by gaining entry through the roof and trying to molest the women, and a fact finding good will meeting was arranged by STF officials Saturday to gather further information about the incidents.
Fear among residents the unsavoury activities of the armed gangs is widespread in the area, and the residents have started staying in groups during the night for safety, sources said.
The armed men have been intruding into many homes in the 7th and 8th divisions in Aalayadiveampu and tried to sexually abuse the women inmates, the residents complain.
Meanwhile, other acts of this STF officer including videotaping the public of the area a few weeks back, segregating the women and men and investigating them, and beating to death a 14 year boy traveling along the road where an STF commando was shot to death earlier, have angered the local residents, and further suspect of his complicity in the recent activities of the armed men, a spokesman for the public said.
The members of the public attending the meeting appealed to the SLA officers to take immediate action to allay fears of the residents by curbing the activities of the armed men.