SLA arrests another Pt. Pedro fisherman
[TamilNet, Friday, 13 September 2002, 21:09 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army arrested a fisherman in Pt. Pedro Friday night around 9. 30 p.m. sources said. Ponnuchchami Jeyartnam, 59, was at the Munai beach near Pt. Pedro town when soldiers from the 52-4 Brigade took him into custody. Human rights lawyers said the situation is serious because the Sri Lanka army, which has no legal power whatsoever to make arrests after the Emergency lapsed last year, is continuing to take civilians into custody in Pt. Pedro.
The army arrested two fishermen in Pt. Pedro earlier this week in connection with a students’ protest on 2 September.
The arrests are also in violation of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers.
Article 2.12 of the CFA states: "The parties agree that search operations and arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act shall not take place. Arrests shall be conducted under due process of law in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code."
"How is the SLA able to make arrests with such impunity - in violation of the law of the land and the CFA agreement?" asked a lawyer in Pt. Pedro.
The arrested fisherman, Jeyaratnam, lives with his family inside the SLA’s 52-4 Brigade camp in Pt. Pedro town. Ten fishing families live there, as they did not have anywhere to go when the military moved into the area six years ago.
The army camp encompasses key areas of the town in and around the jetty. Many public and private buildings and the old Kottadi Pillaiyar Temple lie within the camp. The Pt. Pedro Hartley College and Methodist Girls’ High School too were within its defence perimeter until recently.
12.09.02 Fishermen complain army harassment
10.09.02 SLA arrests two civilians in Point Pedro