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23 Tamils detained under PTA in recent weeks

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 April 2016, 21:27 GMT]
The notorious ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division (TID) of occupying Colombo has detained at least 23 Eezham Tamils from North and East at various prisons since 29 March. The arrests have taken place in white-van abduction style and through hostage-taking of family members. One of the victims is a woman, who is detained at Vavuniyaa. Two males are being interrogated at the so-called 4th Floor torture chamber in Colombo, while the remaining 20 are being detained at Boosa prison in Galle district in the South. All the ‘arrests’ have been carried out under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), with judicial evidence standards for arrest lower than even "reason to believe."

Around 10 of the 20 persons detained at Galle are those who were found in the cell phone contact list or who have been in touch with 31-year-old Jude Sebastian, who was alleged of possessing improvised explosive device at Ma'ravan-pulavu in Thenmaraadchi. The remaining 10 people have no idea why they have been detained, legal sources in Colombo said.

The recent arrests deploying illegal means under the PTA have come after UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein went on describing the political prisoners and prisoners of war, who have been languishing in the jails of genocidal Sri Lanka as ‘security detainees’ on 10 March 2016.

TNA's Mannaar Urban Council member (now dissolved for re-election) and Mannaar district secretary of Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front Ratnasingam Kumaresh and Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) Youth Wing leader V.S. Sivakaran have condemned the renewed trend of PTA arrests on Sunday.

They also blamed the SL military for harassing the Tamil population in the five districts in the Northern province at military check posts that are being put up randomly along the roads.

In 2011, the then Bishop of Mannaar, Rt Rev Rayappu Joseph, who appeared in front of the Rajapaksa appointed LLRC, has put on record that the fate of 146,679 people remained unaccounted for after the genocidal onslaught on Vanni in 2009. The Bishop was using the figures of the SL State and the United Nations. However, the families of the missing persons are still struggling to find out the fate of their kith and kin.

While around 200 Tamil detainees are already languishing in prisons for several years and the SL State has completely failed to document what has happened to thousands of the ‘missing’ people who were taken in SL military buses after announcing ‘general amnesty’ on 18 May 2009 at Vadduvaakal and other places inside SL military controlled area, the renewed ‘arrests’ and harassments have been renewed with the blessings of USA, which presented a ‘consensus’ resolution at the UN Human Rights Council last year after the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recommending a ‘hybrid’ mechanism.



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