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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2036

Stop the Lethal Dance of the Police in Thunnalai

Jaffna, 03 September, (Asiantribune.com):

:President Maithripala Srisena has called for a report from Pujitha Jayasundara, Inspector General of Police regarding incidents of harassment and arrest of people in the Thunnalai East and Kudawattai villages in the Point Pedro area by the local police.

The residents of Thunnlai East recently went on a delegation to President’s Secretariat and handed over a signed memorandum alleging of harassment and arrest by the Police.

The appeal pointed out of the lethal dance of the Police especially in the Jaffna District generally and in their villages in particular.

The disgruntled villagers expressed their disappointment of the police developing the uncanny habit in the Peninsula of shooting merely at the slightest provocation and the people of the area have lost their, started to defend themselves against the excesses, as they were being brutally attacked by the police.

They pointed out to the Country’s President, that presently more than 500 youths in both the villages are on the hiding and on the run and if such a situation persists then there is a danger of those youths being exploited by the anti-social elements to create disturbances and threat to law and order in this part of the region.

The memorandum submitted by the villagers appealed for a general amnesty for those who have been intentionally and wrongly implicated by the police, arrested and also of the continuous threat of arrest of more villagers.

President Maithripala Srisena has rightly indicated in his directive to the Inspector General of Police that, “if there are abuses found out, ensure these will not recur and discipline is maintained in policing.”

The President also has called for a report on those allegations made by the villagers.

The appeal reveal of the disturbing approach adopted by the Police, who, on the 8th of July, Police fired at a truck which was transporting sand from Manalkadu in Point Pedro – Vallipuram Temple – Kudathanai road and one 25 year old Yogarajah Dinesh of our village (Thunnalai East) died on the spot.

Villagers have further revealed that -

Yogarajah Dinesh, who just a month ago, returned from a foreign country and as his friends invited him to join them in the truck, that went to load sand, he went with them. He was not the driver of the truck. The Police shot at him in his chest and he received multiple gunshots injuries, nearly four shots and he succumbed to the gunshot injuries.

The felling of the young man provoked tension in our midst and started protesting against the police as they have killed one of our villagers - youth. Even earlier, the police has shot two of villagers and injured them.

In early part of 2015, one of our villagers, a male was shot in the leg and wounded. After receiving the gunshot injury he fled the village and he is still missing.

Again on 07 May 2015, a driver of a canter lorry one Thayavu Singham was shot by the Point Pedro police and he sustained gunshot injury in his shoulder. The case is still pending in the Point Pedro Magistrate courts.

Villagers memorandum also brought to Presidents notice that the police shot and killed two Jaffna University students on the night of 20 October 2016 - the villagers pointed out to the President.

“It was a natural repercussion against the police violence, who uses lethal weapons to shoot at our villagers.”
The appeal went on to recount that, after the July 8th incident, on the instruction of the IGP, the Senior DIG Northern Prrovince took up the issue of arresting and harassing them.

The village representatives pointed out that, daily, police and STF personnel started roaming in the streets of their villages menacingly, did round ups and house to house searches and entered into their houses without any proper authority.

The police party they said used to enter their houses and started arresting their children. Once they arrest a youth, they will drag that youth to the road, kick him, assault him ruthlessly and scold the arrested youth in filth, take him to police station, force him to sign false confession and charge the person under available non-bailable clauses of the penal code.

Police started framing the arrested youths with cooked up charges, saying they were “in possession Kerala Ganja and other types of drugs and lethal weapons,” so that they would not be released on bail.

So far they have arrested and charged 38 youths and are looking for another one hundred youths to be charged.
When the intention of the police became clear to the villagers, they took to their heels, began running and are in the hiding since then. Almost all youths in the two villages, those up to forty years and a little over -a total of more than 500 of them are now in hiding.

They said that, to put an end to their miserable plight, they contacted the senior DIG Northern Province Mr. Roshan Fernando and invited him for a discussion intheirr village on 26th at 10 AM.

“The meeting was organized by us and we also invited the Security Forces Commander Jaffna Major General Dharshana Hettiarachi.”

“Unfortunately, the Senior DIG failed to comprehend us. Our plea went on his deaf ears, even the SF Commander expressed concern about the youths who are on the hiding.”

They added, “Our villagers were greatly disappointed as the Northern Province Police Chief failed to comprehend our appeal, hence we decided to meet Your Excellency and express our position and request to make arrangements for our youths who are on the hiding to return back to our homes and to allow us to lead a peaceful life in our villages.”

Villagers observed that the Security Forces Commander, Jaffna Major General Dhakshana Hettiarachi expressed dismay and regret over the approach of the Senior DIG Northern Province.

They said, “He expressed concern that if those 500 youths were allowed to be on the hiding would create an opportunity for those youths to be lured by terrorist and criminal elements that are waiting for opportunity create disturbances in the country. He is of the opinion that this disturbing situation should be brought to normal.

- Asian Tribune -

President Maithripala Srisena
Stop the Lethal Dance of the Police in Thunnalai
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