SL military cordons off Jaffna islet with war-time like harassment, families fear reprisals

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 June 2020, 22:12 GMT]
The occupying SL Navy, Army and Police have completely cordoned off Analai-theevu islet off Jaffna after a group of residents confronted SL Navy personnel, whom they suspected as harassing Tamil women sexually last week. In the resulting dispute, Sinhala Navy sailors assaulted the Tamils. An SLN officer and his assistant, who tried to restrict treatment for civilians who had injured in the violence meted out on them by his troopers, was attacked outside the hospital by Tamil men who were angry at the conduct of the occupying Sinhala Navy. Following the episode on 09 June, the Tamil families are subjected to relentless harassment by the SL Navy, Army and Police who are on a hunt to arrest the suspected attackers, who have gone underground. The SL Navy is not allowing journalists in Jaffna to inspect the situation and civilian contact with the outside world remains cut off.

Fearing reprisals from the SL Navy, Tamil families are flocking together in clusters during the nights, said Tamil women who had come to the courts at Ooraaththu'rai (Kayts) island on Wednesday.

The women had managed to come to see their three family members, who were detained by the SL Police on 10 June. The SL Police has arrested four men, who are held at Jaffna Prison till 24 June. The SL Navy targeted the four on a false accusation, the families said.

The three were released on bail by the courts on Wednesday.

The SL Navy that couldn't find those who opposed it was targeting others in a move for collective punishment, the families said.

The women, who didn't wish to be named due to security reasons, said their families were residing with other families during nights as SL Navy personnel were roaming around with intentions of revenge, they said thanking the lawyers who defended them at the courts.

The civilian life on the islet is practically at a standstill. Door to door search has become the order of the day. The SL Navy has also seized the dragnets of the fishers. The women are afraid of sexual harassment and abuse at the hands of the occupying SL Navy.


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