Jaffna SLA commander calls upon LTTE cadres to surrender

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 March 2008, 04:34 GMT]
Major. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, the Head of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the North in a media communiqué released Tuesday night called upon the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres operating in the peninsula to surrender themselves at the military bases in the peninsula, sources in Jaffna said.

The SLA commander of the Northern Region in his communiqué stated that most of the LTTE fighters have already surrendered at the Army camps and appealed to the rest to surrender taking advantage of the ongoing rehabilitation program.

The SLA has in addition released copies of hand written letters allegedly written by the surrendered cadres of LTTE but many civil groups have already begun to question the authenticity of the documents.

Major. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri at a recent meeting held in Palaali Army camp stated that 44 youths have surrendered at the army base and will be housed at a special SLA- run Rehabilitation centre in Thellipa’lai.

Though nearly two weeks have passed since the meeting , no details of neither the names or addresses of those surrendered have been released by the SLA, civil society sources confirmed.

It is feared that these 44 youths could have been either a part of a group of the civilians surrendered at the HRC, Jaffna but later enticed by SLA to surrender at the military bases or they could be among the thousands of youths in the peninsula who disappeared earlier, civil groups commented.

Though SLA in Jaffna say that youths placed in the protective custody of Jaffna prison are willing to leave the prison to be placed in the SLA - run rehabilitation centre in Thellipa’lai, civilians continue to seek protection with Jaffna HRC due to death threats by armed groups with the backing of SLA troops, legal sources in Jaffna said.

Family members of 44 youths who were recently allowed to leave Jaffna prison complained 27 February to a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian that they had paid sums of up to Rs.70, 000 to brokers acting as intermediaries between the relatives and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) personnel in Jaffna , to obtain the youths' release.

Meanwhile, Major. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, claimed that the youths had confessed to being members of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and had agreed to undergo rehabilitation at the Reformation and Rehabilitation Centre in Thellippa’lai, under SLA supervision.

A top level delegation from the Ministry of Defence, Colombo arriving in Jaffna Saturday visted the Rehabilitation centre and had discussions regarding reactivating the centre, sources said.

At the same time, a trader and his 20-year-old son from Thenmaraadchi sought protection with Human Rights Commission (HRC) Jaffna office Tuesday due to death threats by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops and SLA-backed paramilitaries. The number of people seeking HRC protection from Thenmaraadchi area has risen sharply in the recent past, HRC sources said.

The father, a trader, 55, and his son, 25, a student, complained to HRC that they were threatened to death during nights at their home several times.


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