Grease devils – a new military phenomenon unleashing State terror in NE: JDS

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 September 2011, 06:42 GMT]
The Journalist for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), a media organisation of exiled group of Journalists from the island, Thursday said that the introduction of so-called grease devils was nothing but “a new military phenomenon to instil a chilling fear psychosis among the Tamil and Muslim communities living in and around their traditional homelands of North and East” and to unleash “a full-scale State-terror to curtail their collective rights”.

“Concentrating only on further consolidating a militaristic terror state, Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary has apparently reactivated the killing squads of the military and para-military units to further terrorise these war-ravaged people using not so mysterious “grease devils”, the JDS said in a report.

The JDS has given detailed accounts of some of the “grease devils” related incidents including Navanthurai and Puttlam, where the culprits were caught red-handedly and were subsequently rescued by the military.

“The intention of the latest modus operandi of the military authority is not just simply arresting and scaring off people using all sorts of devils – but to create and maintain the conditions to justify the State military terror unleashed on the Tamils and Muslims -- and thereby to convince the rest of the population that such a policy is an absolute ‘necessity’,” it said.

Operating in exile it said that this was for the first time after the end of the war in May 2009, that the military has been deployed in a full-scale military operation against the local Tamil populace.

“Openly defending the exposed “grease devils, President’s powerful sibling and Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on August 23, summoned Muslim religious leaders in Amparai, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Puttlam districts to his ministry and gave them a severe warning that the public who choose to protest against the actions of the military would be severely dealt with,” the JDS said.

It said that the Defence Secretary has virtually predicted the anarchy that is in store to be unleashed, by warning that he would even deploy the elite police and military commandos for this purpose, which on the ground is actually in progress. New military detachments and camps have sprung up in Kinniya, Puttlam and Mannar areas.

The JDS report has come at a time amid increasing “grease devil” related incidents were shaking the entire peninsula, resulting in a large number of people getting assaulted by the police and military personnel with absolute state impunity.

Fresh incidents have been reported in Kurunagar, Kokkuvil and Kondavil areas on Tuesday and Wednesday when the local residents have been badly assaulted by the police and military personnel for identifying and confronting with the “grease devils” who had subsequently sought safe-heaven to avoid being arrested by the public.

The JDS also pointed out that it was unfortunate that many Colombo-based media also “fell to the grease term just like it blindly followed the ‘terrorist’ terminology without being objective”.

“Having lost their loved ones in thousands during three-decade long war and struggling to cope with the situation in the aftermath of the war, these communities have only a little to lose. Facing a full-scale State military terror is far too much for these helpless people to face, especially with the international community either supporting the hawkish Colombo government or reluctant to ensure justice to the affected people,” the JDS report said.

Blaming the current posture of the international community, including the United Nations, for not pressing for international war crime probe despite the surfacing of credible evidences for war crimes committed during the final months of the war that ended in May 2009, the JDS said that it “has emboldened the Rajapaksa government to do whatever it wants and get away”.

“Instead of bringing in tangible pressure on Sri Lanka until it allows an independent and impartial war-crime probe, the powerful members of the international community seek to hold joint military exercises with the troops who have credibly accused of committing serious war crimes and crimes against humanity,” it said.


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