Vakarai residents complain of increased SLA harassment

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 12:47 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has constructed three additional checkpoints along the road leading to Vakarai in Batticaloa district and travellers to the Liberation Tigers' controlled area are being subjected to increased harassment during security checks at these checkpoints, civil society sources in Batticaloa said.

Civilians have to walk long distances across these checkpoints, Vakarai residents complain.

Youths and young women arriving from LTTE controlled area are detained for several hours while their National Identity cards are checked, civil society sources added.

During the Thaipongal festival, armed paramilitaries, four of the paramilitaries belonged to ENDLF, two belonged to Karuna faction and one was SLA intelligence operative from the Valaichenai Paper Factory SLA camp, who came in white van had stopped and searched civilians returning after buying provisions from Valaichchenai.

The paramilitaries arrested six youths, four of them have since been released, according to residents of Vakarai.

The fate of Selvanayagam Mathiharan, 27, and another arrested youth are not known, relatives of the disappeared youths have complained to the Valaichenai police, according to police sources.


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