40 ex-LTTE members abducted within one week, IOM, UN blamed for silence

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 December 2012, 18:07 GMT]
Sri Lankan ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Department (TID) squads roaming around in Vanni and Jaffna peninsula have detained more than forty former LTTE members after abducting them from their residences and on the streets within the last one week alone, legal sources in Jaffna told TamilNet on Monday. Former LTTE members are also being summoned to the SLA camps and questioned over their contacts and friends. Relatives, friends and even employers of those who were summoned to the SL military camps live in fear. While every civil and social freedom of the ‘released’ former members of the LTTE is severely deprived by the occupying Sinhala military, the IOM and the UN that ‘certified’ their rehabilitation and release keep silent.

The stepped-up abductions took place while a 'security analysis' team of New Delhi was present and was visiting the North and East during the last week.

In the meantime, the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission office in Jaffna confirmed that it had registered at least 30 complaints from the kith and kin of the missing, within the last 4 days alone.

However, while admitting that there were complaints from the Vanni mainland as well as from the peninsula, the SL-HRC office in Jaffna has declined to reveal the pattern of the complaints.

When the parents of the missing youth approached the nearby SL police station, the SL police confirmed some of the abductions as TID arrests and has issued papers documenting their detention by the TID.

Some of the abducted youth have been taken to the notorious Boosa detention camp in the Galle town in the southern province, informed sources in touch with the detainees in Boosa told TamilNet.

The move by the TID indicates that some of the youths taken by the TID are going to languish for a prolonged period of time at the prison without any legal proceedings or they are going to be charged with false accusations and put behind the bars.

Rights activists in Jaffna expressed concern on the plight of those subjected to extrajudicial detentions by the TID squads and blamed the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the residential coordinators of the United Nations (UN) for being silent on the latest wave of abductions after witnessing and certifying the release of the former LTTE members from the SL military ‘rehabilitation’.

The IOM and the UN offices have earlier reported to their international headquarters on the release of the SL military ‘rehabilitated’ ex members of the LTTE by issuing identity cards and witnessing the release by registering the details in IOM's international database.

The IOM was also accused of revoking the identity cards and asking the former LTTE members to hand them back to it as the IOM found such identity cards were used by the former LTTE members to document their background when they sought political asylum elsewhere.

The IOM, when contacted by media, is saying that it has no information on such abductions.

Abductions and illegal detentions have been reported in Valveddith-thu'rai, Polika'ndi, Chunnaakam, Punnaalaik-kadduvan, Achchu-veali, Koappaay, Puththoor and Meesaalai in the Jaffna district. There were similar reports from Mullaith-theevu and Ki'li-nochchi districts in Vanni.

Questioning of the former LTTE members is taking place throughout the peninsula.

The SL military takes fingerprints, records statements and questions the former LTTE members who have been summoned to their camps about their current social and political connections as well as about their friends and relatives with whom they are in touch with.

Except the ex LTTE members who are working with the EPDP and the SLFP, all others having any contact with other political parties are threatened not to engage in politics. If they continue such affinities, they would be subjected to abductions without any trace, they have been warned by the SL military.

An allegedly India-backed paramilitary called Sri-TELO is also functioning in collaboration with the SL military in recent times.

The SLA is particular about former LTTE members having any affinity with the breakaway group of the JVP.

While ‘abductions’ have now become the de-facto method of arrest by Colombo's TID squads that come from Colombo without any prior notice to the local police stations, the parents and relatives of the former LTTE members express fear as hundreds of youth who had been abducted between 2006 and 2009 had gone permanently missing.

The operations of the TID squads are undertaken under the direct supervision of the SL Defence Secretary and SL presidential sibling Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, informed police officials in Vavuniyaa said.

Some of the ex LTTE members have gone into hiding.

Many of the surviving former LTTE combatants had sustained serious injuries during the war and are struggling without proper livelihood as disabled persons. Meanwhile, ex female combatants are subjected to particular harassments by the occupying military that insists on their regular show up in the military camps.

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