Batticaloa workers said vulnerable to arrest, detention

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 August 2001, 15:50 GMT]
Ninety-three civilians in Batticaloa district arrested by the Sri Lankan security forces from January to 31 July this year are still in detention, according to Human Rights Commission officials in the eastern town Wednesday. Sixty-nine were arrested in Batticloa and twenty-four in other districts; the whereabouts of three persons arrested in Batticaloa is still not known, they said. Relatives said that the three have been presumed missing. Meanwhile Police sources in Colombo said that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested 20 Tamils so far in connection with the attack on the Katunayaka Sri Lanka Air Force base and international airport on 24 July.

The twenty were taken into custody in the towns of Wennappuwa, Katunayaka and Negombo.

Viswalingam Jegan,18, of Pandiruppu, 38 kilometres south of Batticaloa, who was working as a gold smith in the southern town of Galle was arrested on 29 July. Nagamani Ilankeswaran, 31, of Annamalai, 32 kilometres south of Batticaloa, also a goldsmith employed in the Kalutara was arrested on 28 July, relatives said.

Most of the Batticaloa civilians who were arrested outside the district are goldsmiths and rice mill workers. Human rights lawyers say that they are frequently subject to arrest and detention because Police tend to view them with suspicion. The Police consider them as potential contacts for the Liberation Tigers in Sinhala towns where very few Tamils from the North and east live.

The men and women from the Batticaloa who work as cheap resident labourers in large rice mills in Sinhala majority areas such as Polannaruwa, Minneriya and Hinkurangoda are particularly vulnerable because their relatives are too poor to seek legal and human rights assistance and travel to Police or army detention centres in remote Sinhala areas, according to a human rights lawyer in the east.

Hundreds of people from villages in Batticaloa impoverished by more than fifteen years of war related bans on fishing and cultivation and the destruction of minor industries continue to seek work as workers in rice mills and agricultural labourers during harvest in Sinhala areas adjoining the eastern province despite the risk of arrest and detention.

 

Latest 15 Reports
01.07.20 13:22  
New secret unit among four SL military and police squads competing to arrest Tamil youth in North
30.06.20 22:10  
Tamils blocked from accessing properties near SL Navy training base in Champoor, Trincomalee
29.06.20 23:29   Photo
Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils
28.06.20 22:06  
India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat
27.06.20 22:11  
Indo-Pacific expert wants US to seek opportunities in ‘Sri Lanka’
26.06.20 21:24  
Russia steps up influence on New Delhi to uphold “multilateralism” against US “rules-based order”
25.06.20 23:53  
Pompeo talks about US reposturing troops, mentions India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia
24.06.20 23:36   Photo
Devananda circumvents court order, manipulates Jaffna fishers to allow poachers from South
23.06.20 22:03  
Sinhala encroachment of pastureland continues unabated in Batticaloa
22.06.20 18:17  
SLMC Chairman: Time for joint Tamil-Muslim efforts
21.06.20 23:11   Photo
Ex-councillor: Poverty-stricken Tamils at receiving end of SL military brutality in North
20.06.20 23:53   Photo
Tamil man killed, Sinhala Army opens fire at motorbike rider at Mukamaalai in North
19.06.20 23:30  
Dr Amir Ali: SL Archaeology aims to obliterate Tamil traces, shrink territory of Muslims in East
18.06.20 21:02  
Colombo steps up surveillance harassment on organisations operating in East
17.06.20 22:12  
SL military cordons off Jaffna islet with war-time like harassment, families fear reprisals
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=6198