Batticaloa Tamils fear establishment of civil youth committees

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 July 2010, 05:36 GMT]
Civil youth committees are to be formed in all thirty Grama Niladhari divisions in the Batticaloa police division, according to Superintendent of Police in charge of the division, I. M. Kaurnaretna. Each committee will comprise of ten youths including the Grama Niladhari of the area in charge, he said at a meeting held Monday at Batticaloa Mahajana College. Tamil residents in Batticaloa district are perturbed over the move of setting up civil youth committees in the background that Sinhalese and Muslim members of such committees earlier appointed during the war time in the Ampaarai district had engaged in burglary and robbery.

Members of the committee will be issued with identity cards that are valid for one year, Karunaretne said..

Residents in Batticaloa fear that civil youth committees proposed to be set up in Batticaloa district would also engage in robberies.

Kalmunai Police Officer recently revealed that members of such committees were engaged in committing crimes in their areas using these identity cards. Later he withdrew identity cards issued to civil youth committee members.

However, Batticaloa police say these committees are to be set up to prevent crime among society in co-operation with the police and also to identify persons who have contact with LTTE and their activities.

But the people feel that such committee would disrupt the normalcy of peace loving citizens after the war was over.

Members of civil youth committees set up in Colombo district currently conduct searches, checking national identity cards and bags and baggage mainly in Tamil areas in Colombo causing hardships to Tamil civilians, sources in Colombo said.

 

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