Police arrests paramilitary leader
[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 March 1999, 13:55 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Police arrested a senior cadre of the Razeek group, Arulnayaham Jeyarajah alias Anton, 26, in Batticaloa this afternoon in connection with his alleged involvement in the murder of Kanakasingham Rasathurai, 63, a civilian who had complained to the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) about the illegal activities this special Tamil Sri Lankan army unit.
The arrest was made on the instructions of the Batticaloa district judge J.Wisvanathan who held the inquest into the death of kanakasingham earlier this afternoon at the Batticaloa hospital.
Kanakasingham was killed by a grenade that was lobbed at him soon after midnight, around 12.30 a.m. while he was sleeping on the verandah of his house on Daniel street in the high security zone of Thimilatheevu, a suburb of Batticaloa lagoon.
Thimilatheevu is a well secured islet in the lagoon surrounding the the Batticaloa town, bounded on one side by the large Sri Lankan Air Force base.
The short causeway that links it to the town is guarded by the camp of the SLA's military intelligence unit. Kanakasingham, according to neighbours, had complained to the Batticaloa SLA Brigade commander R.M Zacky that the Razeek group had threatened and intimidated his son, forcing him to marry a girl against his will.
He had also written several petitions to Sri Lankan government authorities that the Razeek group was engaged in unlawful activities against civilians.
Kanakasingham's son, Rasathurai Jeyakumar, 23, said in his evidence before the judge at the inquest that the Razeek group cadre Anton had threatened to kill him and his father on several occasions and that he strongly suspected that Anton was involved in the murder of his father.
The judge then instructed the Police to immediately apprehend the Razeek group cadre and other suspects involved in the murder.
The Police, thereafter, raided the Razeek group's well fortified military camp on Lake Road in Batticaloa town and arrested Anton. The Police also recovered several productions that had been used in the murder of Kanakasingham last night.
A human rights lawyer said that the Razeek group can be stopped from intimidating, threatening and murdering civilians with impunity in Batticaloa only if firm judicial action is matched by a willingness on the part of the army and its intelligence unit to make the group more accountable to law and order.