SLA targets prominent Tamil businessmen in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 October 2010, 12:58 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Jaffna has cast its net wide to arrest around 163 leading Tamil traders in Jaffna on charges that they had funded Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the past, Jaffna Traders Association (JTA) circles said. Some of them had been already arrested and detained after being interrogated in the notorious ‘Fourth Floor’ of the SLA Intelligence Wing in Colombo. SLA is engaged in rounding up the prominent Tamil traders claiming that it has evidence of their involvement with LTTE found in the statements of the traders in their detention, the sources added. The real motive behind this move is to cripple the prominent Tamil traders in Jaffna to eliminate them competing with the Sinhala traders who continue to invade Jaffna since the opening of A9 land route, JTA circles said.

In the last general election the prominent Tamil traders in Jaffna had not supported the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) but had stood with either Tamil National Alliance (TNA) or Eelam Peoeple’s Democratic Party (EPDP) of Sri Lanka minister Douglas Devananda, the sources said.

Though EPDP is a constituent of SLFP dominated United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) it had chosen to field its own candidates competing with SLFP contestants.

The SLFP did not get any seat in Jaffna district but the EPDP did and this has created enmity between the two parties.

As a result, Eeswarpahan, a leading Tamil businessman in Jaffna, who had financed the EPDP and stood in the forefront of its election campaign activities in the last general election has been arrested by SLA on charges that he had possessed a ship that belonged to the LTTE.

 

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