MP objects to SLA video-filming residents during cordon, search

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 February 2008, 16:54 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian for Ampaa'rai district K. Pathmanathan sent an appeal to Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse and Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse protesting against the video taping of residents by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers during cordon and search operation conducted 20 February in Aalayadiveampu area in Akkaraipattu. People were also harrassed during the interrogation and these are violations of basic human rights, the MP said in the appeal.

"People irrespective of their age or gender, Regional Council Members and staff in Aalayadiveampu were rounded up and made to stand in the scorching sun from 8:00 a.m to 8:30 p.m on 20 February. From morning till night they had to stay at one place without food and water. This is a gross human rights violation," the appeal said.

"Government officials too had been taken away during their duty time and subjected to harsh treatment by the SLA. Recently when the people of Vavuniyaa made representation to Vavuniya Magistrate against SLA video-filming them, the magistrate had given a verdict that such an act was against the law.

"Does this verdict apply only to Vavuniyaa? Could law differ from region to region?" the MP questioned in his appeal.

"I urge the President and the Defence Secretary to immediately direct the SLA and the Police not to harass people and government officials," Pathmanathan said in his appeal.

SLA has conducted cordon and search operations several times in Aalayadiveampu area in Akkaraipattu police division in Ampaa'rai district during the recent past, residents in Aalayadiveampu said.


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