2nd Lead

MPGA to sue army, civil officials

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 March 2003, 16:38 GMT]
The Missing Persons Guardians' Association (MPGA) in Jaffna has decided to file a case in the High Court against some Sri Lanka Army officials and government civil administrators regarding dozens of Tamil civilians who have been reported missing after being arrested by Sri Lankan government troops during the period between 1996 and 1997 in the Jaffna peninsula.

On 19the July 1996, Sri Lankan government troops arrested about one hundred civilians at Kaithady in the Thenmaradchchi area of Jaffna district and later released about 24 persons. The fate of others in custody is still not known, said Mr.S.Satkunam, the MPGA's secretary, while addressing a press briefing held at the Vembadi High School Saturday morning.

He said the organisation will sue military and civil officials who served in Jaffna district when mass scale disappearances took place in 1996 and 1997.

Meanwhile the special committee of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, inquiring into the complaints in regard to the disappearance of more than six hundred Tamil civilians between 1996 and 1997 in the Jaffna district, arrived in the northern town Saturday to conduct further investigations.

The committee, headed by the former government agent of Jaffna, Mr.Devanesan Nesiah, Saturday morning visited high security zones in Palaly, Keerimalai, Tellipallai, Kankesanthurai and Punnalaikadduvan in the north of the district. Later in the afternoon, the HRC committee visited high security zones in the Thenmaradchchi area such as Kovilakandy, Thanankilappu and Maravanpolo villages, the sources said.

The special committee as a part of its investigation into the disappearance of several Tamil youths Saturday met with the Jaffna Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr. Harold Anthony, and the resident representative of the International Committee of Red Cross in Jaffna.

The committee has postponed its meeting with the army commander in Jaffna, Major General Sarath Fonseka for Sunday or Monday. The committee is to record further evidence from parents and close relatives of missing persons from Sunday.

A spokesman of the HRC special committee told press persons that committee members had visited high security zones as a part of their official visit. But the spokesman did not want to elaborate further on the subject.

 

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