More PLOTE members 'missing'

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 September 1998, 19:22 GMT]
The PLOTE issued a statement this evening saying that the chairman and five members of the Chavakachcheri Pradheshiya Sabha (PS) have gone missing after the SLA attacked its camp last evening.

"We believe that they also could have been arrested by the army. There were arguments and acrimony with the army from the day we went to work in Chavakachcheri. However, we put up with all this in the interests of working for our people" the PLOTE statement said.

It also stated that the organisation has had discussions on the incident today with the Sri Lankan Security Forces commander for Jaffna, Major General Lionel Balagalle and General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 54 division Maj.Gen. Chula Seniveratna.

Meanwhile, two civilians and three members of the PLOTE who were taken into custody by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) following the clash in Chavakachcheri yesterday were treated at the Jaffna hospital this afternoon before being locked up in the Jaffna prison said Police sources in the northern town.

All of them had been severely assaulted, and the ear of one person is partially torn, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the civilian who was shot dead last evening in Chavakachcheri by the SLA following its fracas with the PLOTE was identified this afternoon by his aunt as Selvarajah Tharmesh, 19.

Giving evidence at the boy's inquest this afternoon before the Jaffna district magistrate S.A.L Ekanathan, she said that Tharmesh was displaced from Pungudutheevu due to the war and was living with her.

Last evening, a group of soldiers had come to her house and taken him away to the army camp at the Veerapaththirar temple nearby.

The soldiers had severely assaulted him she said. As he did not return last night, she went looking for him this morning.

Later she came to Jaffna town after reading in the paper that the body of a youth shot dead in yesterday's clash between the PLOTE and the army was lying in the Jaffna hospital morgue.

The PLOTE cadres arrested by the SLA are Satchithanantham Thamilvasan,19, Southirarajan Yogenthiran, 28, and Sellan Tharmaroopan, 25.

The civilians are Shanmugasuntharam Sivasuntharam,22 and Pathmanathan Suthaharan, 22.


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