Crime being encouraged in Jaffna?

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Crime is on the increase in the Jaffna peninsula. A large shop in the Maththiya Maha Viththiyalayam road in the Nelliady town was robbed of several hundred thousand rupees and a large quantity of valuable goods last week.

Several shops in the town's bus stand area were also robbed earlier. None of the culprits have been caught. The robbers on both occasions had got in through the roofs at midnight.

Traders who are trying under difficult circumstances to rebuild their businesses are worried that the thieves are able to prowl at night in an area saturated with Sri Lankan army troops. No action has been taken despite several complaints lodged by the traders.

Cattle rustlers have also become active in the peninsula now. Two men were caught recently in Thunnalai for stealing several cattle for slaughter. Most rustlers, however, remain at large. This is mainly due to the high price of beef in Jaffna say residents. A kilo of the meat sells at rupees 130.00 (2.2 US dollars).

Farmers are alarmed because protecting their cattle at night can cost them their lives given the unofficial curfew which prevails in the peninsula after dark.

The sale of Kasippu (hooch) has also become widespread in the peninsula. The dens which sell Kasippu are generally located by the side of Sri Lankan military camps and hence operate with a measure of impunity.

Wives and parents who are perturbed over the return of the hooch menace (called Poochchi in some parts of Jaffna) say they are helpless due to the tacit protection the manufacturers and retailers of Kasippu appear to getting from the sections of the Sri Lankan armed forces.

Meanwhile video parlours showing pornographic movies have quietly mushroomed in many parts of Valigamam. The matter has been noted with regret in sections of the Tamil press as well.

It is a well known fact that mini-movie theatres showing blue films operated in the vicinity of schools in Batticaloa town with the unofficial sanction of the Sri Lankan police until recently.

In contrast, the Sri Lankan government takes very tough action against porn movie operators in Colombo and its suburbs as soon as they are detected.

"This is part of the Sri Lankan government's psy-war on Tamil youth" said a teacher who recently returned from Jaffna.

 

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