SL military threat against civil organisations reaches serious level in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 February 2017, 22:47 GMT]
The occupying Sinhala military was directly controlling the civil rights of the Eezham Tamils under the previous regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa. But, the SL military under the joint regime of Maithiripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickramasinghe, has chosen much worse forms of controlling the underlying social fabric of Eezham Tamils in the Eastern Province, complain Tamil activists from Rural Development Society (RDS) organisations and women’s rural organisations in Batticaloa district in the East. SL military intelligence, which has gathered details of RDS activists and the details of their families, has been exerting pressure on the activists to operate as its informants. All the RDS organisations in the 14 divisions of Batticaloa district are facing the same threat and harassment from the SL military.

The harassment to collaborate with SL military intelligence has come after the recent Ezhuka Thamizh uprising in Batticaloa.

“We receive regular phone calls, almost every morning from the SL military intelligence wing personnel asking us to give details of the events taking place in the village. They ask about the external visitors or organisations that visit us with the intention of helping the war-affected or poverty-stricken people. We are also under pressure of providing details of events taking place,” a leading RDS leader in Batticaloa, who didn't wish to be named, told TamilNet on Tuesday.

“During the Rajapaksa regime, it was the civil administration officials, who were on the government pay roll and appointed as the divisional secretaries and GS officials who were forced to this kind of reporting to military intelligence. Then, the SL military was also deploying paramilitary operatives belonging to Karuna and Pillayan groups to control the civil society in Batticaloa, particularly after 2004. Later, former LTTE members in captivity of the SL military were harassed to collaborate with the SL military intelligence. They were also deployed in the same work. Now, the grassroots activists organised in the RDS and women’s groups have become the chosen target of the occupying Sinhala military intelligence that seeks to control the entire social fabric in Batticaloa,” the RDS official said.

Similar concerns have been expressed by several RDS organisations in the district.

In particular, the SL military intelligence is collecting details of the people mobilising against continued military land grab and those seeking the whereabouts of those subjected to enforced disappearances in the past, the RDS leaders said.

Rural activists among the resettled people in Champoor in Trincomalee have also complained of systematic harassment coming from SL military intelligence wing in Moothoor.

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