Nedunthivu mother of four sexually assaulted
[TamilNet, Saturday, 07 December 2002, 17:23 GMT]
A Tamil young mother of four children is alleged to have been sexually assaulted by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) personnel at Nedunthivu (Delft island) in the Jaffna district Saturday afternoon around 3 p.m.while she was praying in a
church, according to a complaint lodged at the Police Station in the islet, sources in the island said.
The Nedunthivu Police which first hesitated to entertain the victim's complaint later recorded it under pressure. Police although initially insisted in recording the complaint in Sinhala later relented under pressure and recorded the complaint in Tamil language, civilian
According to the complaint, the navy personnel had entered the church Saturday afternoon and tried to sexually assault the young woman who was praying at that time. When she cried for help, few residents nearby had rushed to the church and SLN personnel fled from the area, sources said.
Sources said sexual harassment by SLN personnel in Nedunthivu is on the increase but many women who are sexually harassed do not come forward to make complaints to the law enforcement authorities. Social stigma and possible further harassment by security personnel are the major reasons for their reluctance to complain, sources said.
Meanwhile, a group of Nedunthivu residents have made a complaint to the Divisional Secretariat Saturday to take immediate steps to safeguard women from the security forces, sources said.
Civilian sources further said that action is being taken by some senior residents of the islet to make a complaint of the said attempted sexual assault on a married woman to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Jaffna Sunday.
In the meantime, the picketing against the presence of members of para military Eelam Democratic Party (EPDP) by residents of Nedunthivu entered twenty-second day Saturday. Residents picketed the offices of Divisional Secretariat and Pradeshiya Sabah where about forty EPDP members are staying with the protection of the police and SLN. Residents demand immediate withdrawal of EPDP members from Nedunthivu Island.
The Island Peoples' Welfare Association (IPWA) Saturday made an urgent appeal to the Jaffna Humanitarians Agencies Consortium, district parliamentarians and Jaffna University Students' Union to provide moral support to their picketing against the presence of EPDP cadres. "We will continue our struggle till we oust the EPDP members from Nedunthivu village," said a spokesman of the IPWA.