White van squad abducts Jaffna deminer

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 November 2006, 00:38 GMT]
An employee from 'Halo Trust', an International Non Governmental Organization (INGO) involved in the de-mining in Jaffna district, was forcibly abducted by unidentified gunmen from his home at Old Park road, Chundikkuli in Jaffna town, around 11:00 pm Wednesday, relatives said in a complaint registered at the Human Rights Commission (HRC) Jaffna branch.

Ten armed men who arrived in a white van, broke open the house of Charles Huston Ravindran, 30, a family man, and abducted him at gunpoint, relatives said.

More than eight employees from Halo Trust have been abducted or disappeared in the past in Jaffna district. Some of the employees left the NGO and went underground fearing abduction by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) and allied paramilitaries.

The administrative officialsof the NGO have not publicized the threat to its employees, nor vigorously pursued with SLA, law enforcement authorities to locate the whereabouts of those missing, sources close to the employees said.

Meanwhile, the employees expressed resentment on the silence of the Halo Trust officials, although the employees were aware of the complicity of the SLA and collaborating paramilitaries behind the abductions.

Hallo Trust still functions in small number of areas in the Peninsula, most of the current employees fear for their lives.

Employees said they are considering a work boycott if their employer continues to ignore the potential threat to employees' lives.

 

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