Fear in Batticaloa, Amparai

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 July 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Members of the public in the Batticaloa and Amparai Districts are fearful that they might be punished by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) for filing cases in the courts run by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and for making complaints to the LTTE's police force, said ex-militant sources in Europe today when contacted by TamilNet.

The apprehension follows the SLA's operation in the Kokkadicholai area, northwest of Batticaloa, which is under LTTE control.

According to the sources, there is concern that during this operation, the SLA was able to seize documents, including the LTTE's court records and police complaints log, which could contain details which will implicate members of the public.

These documents are being processed by military intelligence (MI) in Batticaloa, said the sources.

Since most of the documents are in Tamil, the MI is being assisted by the Razeek Group, a paramilitary outfit working with the SLA and members of the ex-militant groups, TELO and PLOTE, said the sources.

Members of the public feel that the SLA would identify the persons who filed cases or made complaints to the LTTE law and order institutions, and punish them for "having ties with the LTTE", said the sources.

Despite being located in a Tiger controlled area, the LTTE's courts and police have been intervening to resolve problems of the Tamil and Muslim public living in areas controlled by the Sri Lanka Government, at the request of the populace, said sources.

Residents in SLA controlled areas regularly crossed into LTTE controlled areas to file cases and complaints with the courts and police, said the sources.

The sources said that this long standing practice may have prompted the recent SLA operation in which the LTTE courthouse and police station were destroyed. The SLA had said that the LTTE magistrate at the courthouse had also been killed, along with six other Tigers, said sources.


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