23 beaten up for wanting to see homes
[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 March 2001, 20:34 GMT]
Twenty three civilians who attempted to visit their homes in Nunavil and Manthuvil, east of Jaffna town, were assaulted and beaten up severely with clubs and wires by Sri Lanka army soldiers on Thursday 1 March. "The soldiers seized our national identity cards and chased us away" one of them said. Several others who went Saturday to visit their homes in this sector were assaulted too. SLA personnel at the Kaithady civil affairs office of the military interrogated and reprimanded the 23 who went Saturday to get back their identity cards. The chairman of the Chavakachcheri Palmyrah Co-operative Society, Mr. T Poopalasingham among those who were beaten up on 1 March.
Civilians who were displaced from these parts last may due to heavy fighting between the SLA and the Liberation Tigers say the army gives them permission to visit their homes and then beats them up when they turn up at sentries on roads leading to the area.
Although the Liberation Tigers withdrew from their positions east and south east of Jaffna town towards the end of last year, the SLA claims that it is yet to completely clear these sectors and dominate them comprehensively. However, the SLA has given permission to many civilians from these parts to visit their homes and bring back things of value.
The civilians who were assaulted Saturday said that they are anxious to visit their homes and retrieve whatever they can salvage of their property.