Molest try fails, soldiers threaten woman

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 October 2003, 16:29 GMT]
A young woman who reported an attempt by two Sri Lanka army soldiers to molest her Sunday morning in Manalkaadu, a village on Jaffnaís southeastern coast, was threatened by colleagues of her attackers not to speak about the incident to anyone, her family said. Relatives told TamilNet the womanís husband had fought off the two soldiers while they were trying to snatch her infant and to drag her into the shrub jungle by the road.

The young woman, Anthony Prabha Manjula, 19, was returning home to Manalkaadu from Pt. Pedro around 10.30 a.m. with her six month old infant Sunday when two Sri Lanka army soldiers had accosted her and had ordered her to go into the shrub jungle by the road.

Sensing danger, she had refused. One of the soldiers had then tried to snatch her child while the other had tried to drag her off the road. Manjula, however, had struggled with the two, holding fast to the child.

Meanwhile, her husband Mr. Anthony Prabha, 20, had come there to take her home. Upon seeing his wife struggling with the two soldiers, he had set on them.

"The two ran away into the shrub jungle, unable to withstand his blows", a family member said.

Mr. Anthony and his wife then went to a Sri Lanka army sentry point nearby and had complained to soldiers there about the attempt to molest. But the SLA personnel at the sentry had threatened the two with dire consequences if they dared to make the incident public.

Close relatives of the couple in Manalkaadu told TamilNet Monday that the young woman and her husband are in great fear of their lives now, scared that the two soldiers and their accomplices might harm them for daring to talk.

There is no public or private bus service to Manalkaadu. Residents have to walk for about 1.6 kilometres to the Kulan Junction on the Pt. Pedro- Amban road to take a bus.

There are twenty Sri Lanka army sentry points on the access road to Manalkaadu. Sri Lanka Navy has a camp on the village's beach.


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