3RD LEAD (Adds details, corrections)

SLA arrests five family members in Vadamaradchy

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 April 2006, 13:59 GMT]
Several hundred Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers cordoned and searched Vadamaradchy areas close to the High Security Zone (HSZ) around 1st, 2nd and 3rd cross streets in Point Pedro Sunday early morning between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. and arrested five members of the same family and a boarding student, accusing them of hiding arms, sources in Point Pedro said.

A. Krishnarajah, 47, his wife Kalavathi, 42, and children Ranjini, 27, a student at Jaffna Technical College, Thivakumar, 21, student at Hartley College, and Vijeyaban, 20, another Hartley student were arrested early morning. Details of another student staying with that family who was also arrested are not known.

They were taken to the SLA Brigade 52-4 for investigations. Mother Kalavathi and daughter Ranjini were released in the afternoon sources said.

Relatives who registered complaints with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and with the Jaffna Human Rights Commission, said that the family is innocent and are not involved in any activities associated with dealing in arms.

Residents also said many of the SLA soldiers who were engaged in house-to-house search were wearing black masks. Civilians were prevented from entering or leaving the area during the several hours the search operation was in progress, residents said.

Although SLA officials said that the operation was carried out after they received information on the presence of armed groups, residents said that the searches are part of a continued pattern of SLA harassment of villagers to threaten sympathizers of Tamil National struggle into leaving the area.


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