SL Police blocks protest by families of missing persons in East

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 July 2020, 20:24 GMT]
Ea'raavoor Police has blocked a demonstration on Monday in Batticaloa. The kith and kin of Tamils subjected to enforced disappearances organised the protest after informing SL Police in advance. However, the SL Police, which had verbally assured that the protest could proceed, suddenly stopped the rally in a ransacking spree, securing a court order just 30 minutes before the protest. The coordinator of the campaign, Ms Amalanayaki Amalraj, told TamilNet that she had informed the SL Police Officer-in-Charge at Ea'raavoor Police station through a CID officer attached to the central police station in Batticaloa well in advance, three days before the event.

Ms Amalanayaki further instructed the families to follow social distancing measures and limited the number of participants below one hundred persons. The SL Police officer, who was kept informed until the last moment, was providing verbal assurances that she could proceed with the protest. But, the SL Police was working behind the scene to stop the mobilisation at the last minute, she complained.

The police officer called her on Sunday evening and asked her to file a written application the day around 8:00 a.m. on Monday, two hours ahead of the protest.

However, the same officer called her around 9:30 and asked her location at the moment. Immediately police round-up took place targeting Chengkaladi junction, the locality. The OIC of Ea'raavoor Police was also there. They handed her a court order. The order forbids her and those associated with her from organising gatherings in Ea'raavoor police district until 12th August. Furthermore, she was instructed to be present during the hearings on that day.

District heads of the organisations representing the families of persons subjected to enforced disappearances had come to attend the protest and a press meeting. SL police told Ms Amalanayaki to inform the participants about the court order and cancel the rally.

When she informed the protesters, the mothers vehemently opposed the conduct of the SL police.

Although she asked the participants to leave the site, the mothers started to cry and object the cancellation.

The SL Police was harassing Amalanayaki and said she was taking too much time to annul the gathering. There were also veiled threats of arrest.

When Ms Amalanayaki left the site, the mothers followed her expressing their anger against the ban.

Questions were raised why a small gathering was being blocked citing Corona measures while election campaign meetings with thousands of participants were being allowed to proceed.

More than ten years have elapsed after the end of the war. There were also mothers and wives of people subjected to enforced disappearance 30 years ago. How can you expect justice from the SL State that behaves like this, Ms Amalanayaki asked TamilNet when asked to comment about the episode.

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