Alarming increase in Mannaar abductions

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 January 2008, 16:45 GMT]
In the past three weeks, Mannaar has witnessed the abduction of five Tamil civilians, including a leading businessman and a young mother, in broad daylight. In at least two of the cases, the victims had received mysterious phone calls asking them to come to an appointed place at a particular time. Distraught families have been running from pillar to post to trace their missing relatives, but a hostile police force has ensured that they remain groping in the dark.

Leading businessman and social activist Soosaippillai Anton, 54, of Murungkan in Mannaar was reported missing since Wednesday when he was on his way to Vavuniyaa in a motorbike. Anton, a father of three, owns a fuel station and a wine shop apart from running several successful business establishments in Mannaar and Vavuniyaa. He was also a building contractor and owner of cultivable land.

When he didn't return home on Wednesday night, his family attempted to trace him through relatives and business contacts in Vavuniyaa. As their efforts proved futile they lodged a complaint with the Mannaar Police and ICRC officials.

In a similar incident, a young widow, Arulvaasagam Rosani, 31, was abducted in front of the Mannaar St. Sebastian Cathedral on Friday. She had reportedly received a phone call asking her to come to the Church at 2:30 p.m. that day.

Rosani is the mother of a 9-year-old daughter. Having lost her parents early and her husband some years back, she had been living with her relatives.

Speaking on conditions of anonymity, an official of an international agency providing protection and assistance to conflict victims, told TamilNet that the Mannaar Police had refused to record Rosani's abduction when her relatives sought to lodge a complaint. He hinted that the inaction of the police revealed the active role played by the government forces in carrying out these abductions.

Likewise, two fishermen Charles Joseph Rosanraj, 24, and Masanat Gilbert Dharsan, 22, living in the Joseph Vaz settlement in Thoaddave'li near Erukkalampiddi, were reported missing since December 15, 4:50 p.m. They were returning home from their jetty (Koanthaipiddi jetty in Uppukku'lam) by cycle on the Mannaar - Thalaimannaar Road near the Youth Corps Centre, a Sri Lanka Navy camp, 2 km from Mannaar city, the official who visited Vavuniyaa told TamilNet.

Both the fishermen had been displaced from Vidathaltheevu in 1999 and were living in the Thoaddave'li Joseph Vaz resettlement colony.

The first abduction took place on December 24, 2007. Antony Thadcruze Christine, 26, a carpenter hailing from a poor family in Thoaaddave'li had received a telephone call asking him to come to Konnaiyan near Thaarapuram, a Tamil settlement 3 km away. He kept the appointment, but never returned.


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