Veteran political analyst faces surveillance harassment in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 09 December 2019, 22:11 GMT]
Unknown persons who entered the residence of Jaffna-based Political Analyst and Senior Lawyer S.A. Jothilingam have ransacked the place while the 64-year-old activist was away on Sunday. The ransackers have gone through his possessions in all the rooms and taken away two smartphones used by the activist. The front door and the doors of the cupboards inside the rooms have been smashed. The incident was not an ordinary theft as the intruders didn't steal the money or other valuable items. Furthermore, the episode unfolded after two other suspicious events on Friday, according to the activist and his friends who went to help him on Friday night and Sunday.

S.A. Jothilingam
S.A. Jothilingam
On Friday evening, two SL Policemen in civilian clothes visited the activist inquiring about the whereabouts of a person whom they claimed as residing at his house. Mr Jothilingam did not know the person and clarified it to the policemen.

Later in the night, the front doorbell was rung, but when he attended, no one was found outside. Since the harassment repeated a few times, Jothilingam phoned the 119 emergency line of the SL Police. But, the police didn't inspect the issue. Since he was residing alone, some of his friends came to stay with him until midnight.

The robbery-styled ransacking has taken place on Sunday between 10:00 a.m and 1:30 p.m. while the activist was away at the office of his organisation.

The stolen phones were the old smartphones Jothilingam had used to communicate with his fellow activists and friends inside and outside the island.

Jothilingam and his friends allege that the used smartphones have been seized to trace his contacts.

The alleged surveillance harassment is indicative of the tendency of resurfacing intimidations and threats against grassroots activists in the North-East, Tamil journalists in Jaffna said.

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