HRC Jaffna officials receive death threats

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 June 2007, 09:20 GMT]
Members of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces and unidentified armed persons continue to intimidate and threaten with death officials of Human Rights Commission (HRC) Jaffna, legal circles in Jaffna said. Angered by the HRC's exposing of human rights violations brought to notice by the public and relatives of the victims, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and SLA-backed paramilitaries have resorted to making threatening calls to HRC officials.

Many HRC co-ordinating officers serving in Jaffna peninsula have left Jafffna earlier, and many current officials are contemplating to relocate fearing for their lives.

More officals leaving HRC will stall the crucial functions the HRC is currently performing to protect civilian lives, civil society sources said.

The reports made by the HRC officials to the head office have failed to receive any constructive response, sources close to the HRC said.

Meanwhile, police officers posted at Kallidi junction near Jaffna University stopped a HRC official vehicle, and had harrassed the HRC officials interrogating them for nearly half an hour, last week.

Similarly, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) manning the check post at Pa'n'nai area stopped a HRC vehicle and carried out a thorough checking, lasting for about half an hour, claiming they suspected explosives hidden in the HRC vehicle.

Though the HRC officials brought this obstruction of their duty to the SLA high command in Jaffna and their head office superiors in Colombo nothing had been done about their complaints.

The police officer involved in the incident at Kalliddi junction, however, on being reported to Higher Police authorities in Jaffna, was summoned to the HRC Jaffna office where he apologised for his conduct.


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