Abduction-style TID detention said to be revenge against social, environmental activist

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 March 2020, 17:10 GMT]
SL ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division detained 40-year-old Selvarasa Uthayasivam, a father of four at Keavil in Vadamaraadchi East on 04 March as reported earlier. The TID was alluding to SL Human Rights Commission in Jaffna that the detention was linked to the arrest of four persons alleged of having explosives on the previous day. However, the neighbours of Uthayasivam told TamilNet on Tuesday that the SL TID had intentionally targeted Mr Uthayasivam for his environmental and social activism in recent times. Vadamaraadchi East coordinator of National Fisheries Solidarity Movement Ratnasingham Muralitharan said the detained family man was active against exploitative sand mining by the SL Army and the SL Navy. He had also opposed illegal logging activities carried out with alleged involvement of the SL Police.

Mr Uthayasivam has been working as a security guard at the telecom tower of a private teleoperator.

He was also at the forefront of exposing marijuana trafficking activities and tipped off the SL Police on suspected boats accessing the coast after the Easter Attack last year.

Uthayasivam had actively contributed to trace and bust drugs in the area. However, SL Policemen acted against him after he released photos revealing his role. The SL Police went to the extent of detaining him and harassing him.

Six days have passed since his detention by the TID, but Uthayasivam has not been produced at the courts.

The TID had brought him to the area on Monday. But, the family was not allowed to meet him, the residents further said.

Sand dunes in Vadamaraadchi
Hemmed between Indian Ocean and Tho'ndaimaanaa'ru lagoon, silica-rich golden sand deposited by Northeast Wind making the Northeast coast of Jaffna peninsula. [Satellite Image Courtesy: Google Earth, Details & Legend: TamilNet]

The latest move by the SL TID to detain the father of four is an act of revenge by SL military, police and the EPDP, the residents in the area told TamilNet.

During the previous Rajapaksa regime in, a young environmental activist, Ketheeswaran Thevarajah, who was instrumental in organisng protests against the sand scooping at Kudaththanai village was killed on 31 December 2010 by a killer squad for compiling information on environmental damage.

The assassination was carried out after Mr Douglas Devananda had threatened Kudaththanai villagers not to protest against sand scooping by Maheswary Foundation.

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