SL Army’s 231 Brigade sexually abuses Tamil women in Batticaloa suburb

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 May 2020, 22:38 GMT]
There have been allegations of soldiers of the occupying SL Army’s 231 Brigade Headquarters at Kalladi sexually abusing Tamil women for some time. In recent weeks, the issue has become a menace of increasing threat, community leaders in the area complain, on condition of anonymity. The SLA soldiers, who are predominantly Sinhalese, exploit the poverty-stricken families by providing minor jobs and seeking the households. Higher ranking officers and commanders are also involved in the exploitation, and some women are taken to the military quarters and abused by more than two or three soldiers during the nights, reliable sources said. The soldiers have started to collect details of female-headed households triggering widespread fear, the sources further said.

The residents have taken up the issue with the hierarchy of the SL Army through intermediaries. But, the SLA has failed to discipline its soldiers, community leaders said.

Colonel Janaka Pallekumbura leads the SL 231 Brigade camp at Kalladi since December 2019. Soliders stationed there belong to 4th Gemunu Watch, 10th Gajaba Regiment and 11th (volunteer) Sinha Regiment.

The Kalladi camp lies spread along the beach for about one kilometre, occupying a large tract comprising public and private lands as well as properties.

The SLA moved into the area in 1982, taking over a Rural Development Training Centre under the Emergency Regulations to set up a minor post. The position was expanded and built into a large camp since 1990.

The current cantonment comprises at least 45 acres of lands, including the quarters that were built for the public servants of the district by Colombo's National Housing Development Authority.

Board of 231 Brigade at Saravana street in Kalladi, Batticaloa
Kalladi branch of SL Police College is also located close to the 231 Brigade camp. Photograph of the boards at Saravana street in Kalladi

 

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