Arrests on the increase again in Vavuniya
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 May 2001, 09:09 GMT]
Fifteen persons arrested by the Sri Lankan security forces in Vavuniya in the first two weeks of May 2001 are reported missing according to complaints lodged with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) office in the northern border town. Fifteen persons were arrested by the Sri Lankan security forces last week as well, according to HRC sources in Vavuniya. They said that arrests and detention by the security forces have increased in Vavuniya in recent weeks. Many relatives are still trying to find the places where the arrested persons are being held. An HRC official said that efforts by his organisation to locate the missing persons were not successful.
Murugesu Anandarajah, 31, of Maarambaikulam, a suburb of Vavuniya town, who went to obtain a permanent resident pass from the Sri Lanka army in the Church of Ceylon Tamil Mixed School (CCTMS), on 23 April went missing and his whereabouts is still not known, according to a complaint lodged by his family with the HRC.
Civilians who are permanent residents of Vavuniya have to obtain a special pass from the army that shows their resident status in the northern border town.
Three youth were arrested by the Sri Lanka army on 18 May from the Poonthottam refugee camp. Troops cordoned off the camp in the early hours of the morning and arrested the youth following a search in the premises. The SLA had brought a hooded 'spotter' to identify suspects during the search.
Four girls were arrested by the SLA on 10 May in Pampaimadu on the Vavuniya-Mannar road. The girls were from the village of Chekkadipulavu. They were later released at the HRC office in Vavuniya.