PHI Union urges action to locate missing official in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Monday, 01 September 2008, 08:15 GMT]
Public Health Inspectors' Union of Sri Lanka appealed to Jaffna District Director of Public Health Service to take action to find Thevasenathipathy Sukanthan, a Public Health Inspector (PHI) reported missing since 24 August after being allowed to enter Punnaalai Varatharaja Perumaa'l temple by Sri Lankan forces, to attend the annual temple festival, according to media report released by PHIU. Meanwhile, Jaffna SLA Commander Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri in a report to local media said that there is evidence for the exit of the missing persons from the temple on 24 August.
Punnaalai temple is located in the High Security Zone (HSZ) of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) of Maathakal HSZ and not in SLA HSZ as reported earlier in TamilNet, the SLA commander has said.
The 27-year-old PHI and his 34-year-old friend who were among the devotees, allowed to enter Ponnaalai Varatharajah Perumaa'l temple inside the Sri Lanka Army High Security Zone (HSZ) at the entrance to the Kaarainakar island in Jaffna, were reported missing on Sunday 24 August.
PHIU appeal to the Director of Public Health Service, Jaffna published in the local media is as follows:
“Our fellow officer Thevasenathipathy Sukanthan who attended the annual festival of Ponnalai Varatharaja Perumaal Koayil 24 August has gone missing and yet to return home. Though our union and others have made several representations to related authorities it is not possible to get any information of the officer gone missing.
We and his family are greatly grieved and subjected to mental anguish. This mental state of our fellow officers greatly affects their performing of their duties.
Therefore we extend this appeal to the Jaffna Director of Public Health Service to take necessary action to reunite the missing PHI with his family.”
Identity documents of all devotees entering the temple were checked and registered 24 August and according to this data the two persons reported missing after entering the temple premises have been found to have left the temple, he further said in the report.
Local media, however, had reported 25 August that due to the large number of devotees attending the special festival 24 August, the SLA which had admitted them in after identity check had given up the checking after finding the crowd unmanageable.