160 disappear after SLA arrests in Jaffna- SLHRC

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 09:30 GMT]
The number of civilian disappearances after detention by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the Jaffna Peninsula since December has exceeded 160, the Jaffna office of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (SLHRC) said Tuesday. Numbers have steadily increased after the stepping up of search operations by the SLA, HRC officials added.

Between June 21 and 23 the Jaffna office has received three complaints of missing civilians. The fear is that there may be more unreported cases, civil sources said.

An employee of the Point Pedro Urban Council has gone missing under mysterious circumstances. His family from Alvai North told SLHRC that Subramanian Suresh, 19, was last seen June 27 at 2:00 p.m. leaving the Point Pedro Urban Council office and has not returned home.

Further, Abimony Yogendra, 25, who was going from Puttur to Jaffna Town, June 23 has been reported missing. A complaint has been made to the Jaffna office of the SLHRC by his mother.

On the same day, Arumugam Jagatheswaran, 19, from Seashore Road, Jaffna disappeared. his mother told SLHRC that she saw her son being taken in a van by SLA soldiers wearing black masks.

On June 18 the Jaffna Commander of SLA, Major General Chandrasiri had given the new head of the SLHRC for the Jaffna district Mr. P. Surendiran an undertaking that a special high ranking committee made up of all four SLA forces would work with the Rights Group to look at cases of violations of human rights by SL soldiers and that SLA soldiers will not be permitted to wear black masks.

Many of the disappearances reported to the Jaffna office of SLHRC are of those persons traveling towards Jaffna Town on the Jaffna Point Pedro Road who have to pass SL army checkpoints, SLHRC officials pointed out.

There have also been increasing number of missing persons in the Kopay area since a body was recovered in Kopay. Two scrap metal dealers have also gone missing in the same area, civil sources said.


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