Sinister data gathering program underway

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
All Tamil employees of Sri Lanka's ports authority from the Batticaloa and Ampara districts have come under Police scrutiny through a curious system of investigation which has alarmed many in these parts.

The Police in these districts have distributed questionnaires through Grama Sevakas to people who are employed by the Ports Authority in the Colombo and Trincomalee harbours.

The questionnaire has no seal or title or letterhead. It gives no indication as to who is responsible for the information collected.

Three persons who filled and returned the questionnaires have been taken into custody by the Police.

Of these one has been identified as Mehanaathan of Pottuvil. The other two are from Kalmunai and Karaithivu.

Most questions in the questionnaires are routine except for nos.22 and 25.

No.22 asks if any one in the families of the respondent's parents (sic), siblings or wife was involved in any terrorist organisation or has died as member of such an organisation and if it is the case the full details of such persons.

Question number 25 has been printed under the space for the respondent's signature as though an afterthought repeats no. 22 in a different form.

Tamils in the Batticaloa and Ampara districts who have received these forms through the local Grama Sevekas are alarmed because almost all Tamil families in these parts have been, or are, connected to the either the Liberation Tigers or one of the ex-Tamil militant groups.

Grama Sevakas say they are helpless as the Police is telling them to distribute the questionnaires among employees of the Sri Lankan Ports Authority.


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