STF arrests LTTE cadre

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 July 2002, 03:07 GMT]
Sri Lankan police commandos last Thursday arrested an unarmed member of the Liberation Tigers, Tamil press reports said. The arrest occurred as Sri Lankan government officials assured international monitors and the LTTE that arrests of Tamil Tigers by the security forces - which are violations of the ceasefire agreement between the two sides - would not be permitted.

On Thursday, Special Task Force (STF) troopers in Karaitivu detained Mr. Mangeyan and later handed him over to Kalmunai Police, who produced him before the Kalmunai district court judge, the Uthayan newspaper reported Friday.

Mangayan was traveling in a van with Sabaratnam Suntharalingam, the driver, and Sinnathamby Ramesh, the van cleaner, when the STF arrested all of them, claiming a charge of abduction, the paper said.

The judge, Mr. K. Thadchanamurthy, released Mr. Mangeyan on bail and scheduled a case on July 29. Mr. Z. A. Abdul Hakeem, attorney-at-law, appeared on behalf of the LTTE member and asked the court to release them on bail. The police objected, but the judge set a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 for each of the accused and released the van on a bond of Rs.250,000.

Last Thursday, the commander of the Liberation Tigers in Trincomalee, Mr. Pathuman, Thursday expressed his serious concern to international monitors over the arrests of unarmed members of the organisation.

After two hours of talks with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, Mr. Pathuman said the SLMM viewed the arrests earlier of five senior LTTE officials as violations of the ceasefire agreement.

The five Tamil Tigers arrested by the Sri Lanka navy and army in Trincomalee's Sampoor, Upparu and Kinniya areas were released on Rs 25,000 bail on 5 July by a court in Trincomalee and asked to reappear on 16 July, press reports said.

The head of the LTTE’s political section in Trincomalee, Mr A. Ruban, said the arrests and other provocative incidents were due to a small number of Sri Lanka armed forces members bent on disrupting peace efforts.

Last Thursday, during two hours of discussions with the LTTE representatives led by Mr. Pathuman Peace Secretariat officials said that the Sri Lankan government was not aware of the arrests of unarmed LTTE members in Trincomalee by Sri Lankan security force personnel.

However the government would not allow such arrests in future, they assured. The SLMM also told the LTTE delegation that it would see that no such arrests would take place in future.

Article 1:13 of the Cease-fire Agreement states, "all unarmed LTTE members are entitled to freedom of movement in the northeast other than the specified military areas."


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