Villagers marred by SL Police brutality for 5 months at Thunnalai in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 December 2017, 19:35 GMT]
The police terror, prevailing continuously for five months at Thunnaalai village of Vadamaraadchi South-West in Jaffna, has gone to the extent of torture victims suffering coma. Apart from the Northern Provincial Council, no one has questioned the brutal conduct of the SL Police. The poverty-stricken people of Thunnaalai, which is located 3 km off Nelliyadi, have been living under constant trauma for five months since 09 July 2017, when a 24-year-old youth was shot and killed while he was escaping a police hunt after illegal sand scooping in Kudaththanai. The villagers spontaneously agitated against the police crime. A police post was smashed and the people stoned the house of a notorious Tamil police officer. In turn, the SL Police has meted out a prolonged collective punishment targeting more than 40 individuals with repeated arrests, torture and various other harassments.

The people interpreted the killing of the youth, Yogarajah Thinesh, as a planned encounter in which the SL police wanted to make an example by killing a Tamil sand scooper.

The Sinhala military and Police are also involved in the exploitative illegal sand scooping, the villagers say.

The SL Police responded with more violence, systematic cordon and arrests and interrogations in a ‘counter-insurgency’ fashion deploying notorious Sinhala ‘Special Task Force’ commandos.

Those identified as taking part in the spontaneous violent response have been subjected to brutal torture.

Those who were arrested, ‘punished’ and released from the detention have been kept under continuous surveillance. Apart from repeated arrests, torture and various other harassments, they have also been barred from taking jobs outside their village.

The STF is treating the targeted Tamil villagers as former LTTE members.

Most of the families are dependent on daily wage earnings and they cannot afford to pay for lawyers every time their family members get arrested.

The affected victims complain that they are now forced to consider disappearing from their village as the harassment has become systematic, sophisticated and widespread.

The SL Judiciary, particularly the Point Pedro court, is also discriminating the victims according to the whims and fancies of the SL police in Nelliyadi, the villagers complain.

The lawyers charge large sums and the politicians have all ignored their plight, the affected victims complain.


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