SLA arrests three from LTTE held region
[TamilNet, Friday, 21 December 2001, 03:16 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army Wednesday arrested three officials of a rural development society in the LTTE held region north of Batticaloa. Relatives who came to see them in detention Friday said that the officials were taking money for work on a World Bank funded road project in the village of Kaddumurivu, 62 kilometres north of Batticaloa, when the army intelligence unit at Oddamavadi arrested and detained them for interrogation. The SLA later handed over the three to the Valaichenai police, accusing them of carrying money for the Liberation Tigers. Government officials in the eastern town, however, said that the money was for the road project in Kaddumurivu under the North East Irrigation Agriculture Project (NEIAP) funded by the World Bank.
The Kaddumurivu rural development society officials had obtained a cheque for 600,000 rupees (6520 USD) from the Road Development Division (RDD) of the NEIAP in Batticaloa on Wednesday 19 December. They had cashed the cheque and were on their way to Kaddumurivu when they were arrested by the SLA in Oddamavadi, 34 kilometres north of Batticaloa.
The detained officials are:
S. Patkuman, 40, President of the Kaddumurivu Rural Development Society
K. Theivarasa, 43, Secretary of the Kaddumurivu RDS
Sivalingam Indran, 28, of the Kaddumurivu RDS
The Sri Lankan security forces are given wide powers under the Prevention of Terrorism Act to arrest, search and detain civilians.