2ND LEAD

SL Military Intelligence behind abduction of priests in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 March 2011, 12:16 GMT]
Intelligence officials of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) was behind the abduction of three Christian priests ten days ago in Batticaloa town, sources close to the priests said. The Priests were released February 25 after interrogation held in Fourth Floor of the SLA headquarters. The Priests while admitting that the abduction occurred, declined to reveal anything that took place while in custody due to security reasons.

Ramesh, a person from the Pillaiyan paramilitary group asked the three priests to come to the office of the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province which is located close to the Batticaloa old police station on February 22 afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Since then they failed to return. Relatives of the priests thereafter had made complaints to the police on February 24 about their disappearance.

Later reports emerged the priests had been taken to the Fourth Floor of the Intelligence Unit of the Sri Lanka Army. On February 25 the priests were brought from Colombo in a vehicle and dropped in Batticaloa.

The three priests Pastor Ganeshamoorthy of Thalavai in Batticaloa, Sivakumar Yonath of Theaththa-theevu in Batticaloa and Sivanantham Loop of Ampaa'rai district had been engaged in distributing relief to the flood affected families at that time abduction.

SLA military intelligence had interrogated them to know how they got large sums of fund for the relief distribution, sources said.


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