Colombo's Intelligence harasses families of re-united ex-LTTE members in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Sunday, 13 August 2017, 23:16 GMT]
The Intelligence wing of the occupying Sinhala military has instructed several village (GS/GN) officials in the rural areas of Batticaloa district to submit written reports providing in-depth details on the whereabouts of former LTTE members, who have been reunited with their families. The SL military intelligence operatives have been visiting house-to-house in Kokkaddichchoalai in Ma'nmunai South-West division, inquiring the families about the workplace of the re-united members, their phone numbers, employer-details and when they were supposed to be at home with their families after their work. Similar surveillance operations have been reported also in Koa'ra'laip-pattu South (Kiraan) and in Poaratheevup-pattu (Vellaa-ve'li) divisions, rights activists in Batticaloa said. The latest harassments are taking place in former LTTE controlled areas.

As satisfactory employment opportunities are scarce in the rural areas, even the disabled among the ex-LTTE cadres have to travel outside the rural areas to find jobs.

In some instances, SL Military Intelligence personnel have also been asking the families to obtain a kind of “character certificate” from the village (GS) officers.

The GS is expected to assure that he or she gets regularly notified on the activities of former LTTE members such as their place of employment and their work routine.

Amidst the renewed harassments, many families find it difficult to let their re-united family members to find jobs outside the neighbourhood.

The most affected group is the disabled among the former LTTE cadres.

The Divisional Secretaries are supposed to include the disabled former LTTE cadres in the programmes of economic assistance of 3,000 rupees per month, which is a programme for disabled people. But, ex-LTTE members have been largely neglected from such programmes, rights activists in Batticaloa say.

The families with female youth are particularly concerned about the harassment coming from the Sinhala soldiers who visit their houses citing inquiries and reporting.

In the rural areas, many people are not aware of their rights. The education facilities are also severely restricted in the rural areas.

In the meantime, a select group of former LTTE members have been recently released from the custody of SL military without going through the SL judiciary. They are deployed as informants by the SL military intelligence and SL Police. This kind of ‘surveillance’ is used to confront the GS officers in Vaakaneari, Pe'nduka'l-cheanai and Kaanaanthanai villages, the sources further said.


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