Housewife jailed for withholding information on LTTE

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 July 1999, 04:11 GMT]
A housewife from the Kokkadichcholai area of Batticaloa district was convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for not informing the Police of known movements of members of the Liberation Tigers, and was given three years of rigourous imprisonment by Judge N. Ramachandran of the Batticaloa High Court.

The woman was arrested in a Sri Lankan Army (SLA) checkpoint on the 8th of September 1998, when she had come from the area controlled by the LTTE for a medical checkup at the Batticaloa General Hospital.

She had been held in detention at various SLA camps and at the Batticaloa prison from the time she was arrested.

During the trial when the Judge asked her if she had been aware of the the presence of members of the Liberation Tigers in her area, she had replied "Yes."

S. Illaiyarajah, the chief counsel who appeared on behalf of the accused woman said that it is inevitable that people who live in LTTE controlled areas know of the presence of the members of the LTTE. In addition, many villagers are ignorant of the laws under the PTA, he said.

A senior attorney in the Batticaloa Court added that this ruling has opened up the possibility that the State, under the PTA, can convict any Tamil civilian living in the North-East Province.


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