SLA, Police step up patrols, checking in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 July 2003, 13:13 GMT]
Sri Lanka army and Police intensified checking pedestrians and motorists at key points and junctions in Batticaloa town, heightening apprehensions among residents that the war era atmosphere was returning to the eastern town. Combined army and Police units patrolled the town Thursday.

Persons stopped by the armed forces personnel were body searched and the documents of their vehicles and their identity papers were examined. Vehicles too were searched.

Sri Lankan armed forces enjoyed wide and untrammeled powers to search and check civilians and property before the cease-fire agreement between the Liberation Tigers and Colombo came into effect last year.

A Police officer in Batticaloa, however, claimed that the checking was under normal law.

Some persons were taken to the Police garrison in Batticaloa for further questioning.

Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent of Police for Batticaloa, Mr. Lasantha de Silva, has ordered Policemen guarding the offices and camps of paramilitary groups working with the Sri Lankan armed forces to open fire on any person who attempts to attack these places.


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