Colombo steps up surveillance harassment on organisations operating in East

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 June 2020, 21:02 GMT]
The intelligence wing operatives of the occupying SL military in the East have warned representatives of the community-based organisations in the East not to engage with human rights-related issues unless the organisations have a specific reference to human rights in their statutes. Two leading activists involved in coordinating more than 200 organisations in the three districts in the East told TamilNet on condition of anonymity that the SL intelligence officers were demanding the organisations to document statutes and were questioning how their activities conform to the stated objectives. The intelligence operatives were also asking whether their organisations receive funding from Tamil diaspora or any other foreign source.

The representatives of an organisation, Akam, involved in helping the resettling Tamils to trace and obtain their land documents in Trincomalee have been repeatedly questioned, the coordinators said.

The organisation has helped the resettling families to obtain land documents that they had lost since 1983 SL-state-sponsored anti-Tamil pogrom, known as "Black July".

Furthermore, the organisations that interact with Colombo-based Center For Human Rights and Development (CHRD) in all the three districts are being targeted.

The CHRD, run by a group of lawyers, has been providing legal assistance to the families of the missing and former LTTE members amongst others. It has also involved in the mass grave excavation related legal issues, particularly on Mannaar mass graves.

The office of CHRD in Batticaloa was confronting questions on its sources of funds since December 2019.

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