SLA detains eight from refugee camp
[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 March 2001, 12:29 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army arrested thirteen persons from the Poonthottam refugee camp in Vavuniya between Monday 5 March and Thursday this week, a human rights activist in the northern border town told Tamilnet Saturday. Troops rounded up the Poonthottam junction on Monday and arrested 10 young men and women when they were ascertained to be inmates of the refugee camp from their special identity cards. Five were released the following day. Relatives said the SLA has so far not permitted them visit the others who were detained. The army searched the Poonthottam refugee camp both during daytime and nights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, arresting three.
The army arrested Mariaselvam Sebastian, father of two, on Tuesday. He was displaced from Kilinochchi due to the war, according to inmates of the camp. The next day the SLA arrested Joseph John, 19.
On Thursday, 8 March, Ramaiah Rajkumar, father of one, was taken away by troops.
Joseph John’s father, Sebastianpillai Joseph, said that the army had arrested his son three times before. He said that the army had brought John back to the camp and assaulted him during a search. John’s whereabouts are not known, his father said. Sebastianpillai had asked the Vavuniya Police about his son and they had denied any knowledge of the youth or his arrest and detention.
Sebastianpillai said he is concerned for his son’s life. John and his family were displaced from the Mullaithivu district as refugees due to the war.