Jaffna HSZ-located phone used for extortion threats

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 October 2007, 05:29 GMT]
Several leading businessmen, editors, and directors of newspapers in Jaffna have made complains to Human Rights Commission (HRC), Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and Jaffna magistrate, of receiving threats from a hand phone located in the High Security Zone (HSZ) of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), sources in Jaffna said. The call had warned that failure to pay or reporting the matter to police or the magistrate would result in severe punishment, according to the complaints made, sources in Jaffna said.

The anonymous calls demanding money along with death threats were made during the last two days issue from a single hand phone in the SLA High Security Zone in Jaffna, the complainants said.

Fear and tension prevail among businessmen, media persons including editors and directors of newspapers in Jaffna peninsula.

Similar extortion and intimidation were made earlier in Jaffna peninsula to leading lawyers, doctors and intellectuals by SLA-backed paramilitaries in the peninsula.

Jaffna peninsula lawyers launched a peninsula wide boycott resulting in the assurance from the Jaffna SLA commander that he would take necessary action to curb the menace.

The affected persons say that the extortion and death threats by paramilitaries are carried out in collaboration of the SLA.

The calls of intimidation were made only after the disconnected hand phones in Jaffna peninsula began functioning, they said.

However, the SLA, while rejecting this accusation, maintains that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is responsible for the threats.


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