LTTE protests Jaffna cadres' harassment
[TamilNet, Friday, 27 September 2002, 08:11 GMT]
Political activists of the Liberation Tigers working in the islands off the Jaffna peninsula under the terms of the ceasefire agreement with the Sri Lanka government say they are being harassed by Navy personnel in the region, Tamil press reports said.
The LTTE has protested to international ceasefire monitors that Jaffna-based cadres on their way to the islands on Tuesday evening for political work were detained at the Allaipity checkpoint for a unreasonably long time and deliberately humiliated. Mr. Ilamparithy, the head of the LTTE political section in the Jaffna district raised the matter with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), the Uthayan newspaper reported.
Speaking to local journalists, Mr. Ilamparithy said that a group of LTTE cadres under Mr. Paapa was travelling to the islands for political work when their vehicle was stopped at the Allaipity checkpoint at about 4 pm on Tuesday. The Navy personnel who were in charge of checking the vehicle, deliberately kept the vehicle at the checkpoint for a long time, without checking it and allowing it to proceed.
"They were allowed to proceed only after congestion arose due to many government and public transport vehicles that had to pass the checkpoint," said Mr. Ilamparithy.
"When the cadres finished their work and were returning to Jaffna, they faced the same situation at the checkpoint, where they were detained for more than an hour," he said. "Other passengers going through the checkpoint and members of the public that gathered there requested the Navy to allow our cadres to proceed, but to no avail."
"Then the crowd took matters into their own hands and pushed the LTTE cadre’s vehicle past the checkpoint. Only then were the cadres able to get back to Jaffna," Mr. Ilamparithy said.
"This incident was purposely instigated to provoke and ridicule us. Moreover, such actions are intended to hamper the political activities of our people. We therefore strongly condemn such incidents."
"If the Navy continues to engage such heavy-handed actions, it will lead to considerable agitation amongst our people. We have raised the matter with the SLMM," Mr. Ilamparithy said.
Meanwhile the Sri Lanka navy has abandoned the construction of a controversial new camp in Delft island after intervention by the SLMM following complaints by the LTTE that the move was a breach of the ceasefire agreement.