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‘Plan to destroy Tamil people’s lives’ using anti-terror police

 

Sri Lanka’s top counter terror police unit has been accused of using interrogations and threats aimed at destroying the public life of Tamils in the north and east.

An opposition political leader in Sri Lank has told the country’s executive and its lawmakers that the Counter Terrorism Investigation Division (CTID) continue to probe political activists in the north and east threatening Tamil people’s ordinary lives.

Providing the details of seven Tamil persons who had been summoned by the CTID during the past three months alone, Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) Leader has requested the President to take steps to stop these harassments.

The letter sent by MP Sivagnanam Shritharan to President Ranil Wickremesinghe on 4 June has been tabled in the Parliament on the same day.

Even on the date on which the letter was written, ITAK Central Committee Member Karupaiah Jeyakumar had been summoned for questioning at the Killinochchi CTID office.

The ITAK Leader has informed the President that ITAK’s Killinochchi District Secretary Weerabahu Wijayakumar had been summoned to the Killinochchi CTID office on 14 February and 31 May, 2024, and had been interrogated.

Former Karachchi Pradeshiya Sabha Member Shanmugaraja Jeevaraja has been questioned on 4 April 2024 at the CTID headquarters located in the capital.

On 11 April 2024, writer Balenthiran Piratheepan, popular among Tamils as Deepachalvan and a resident of the Killinochchi district, has been summoned to the CTID office in Killinochchi, according to the MP.

Shritharan had further informed the President that former Punakari Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sri Ranjan and former Karachchi Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Arunachalam Velamaligidan had been summoned to and questioned at the CTID office in Killinochchi on 20 April 2024 and 26 April 2024, respectively.

The letter further reads that former Punagari Pradeshiya Sabha Member Jeyachithra Dayananthan had been questioned at the CTID office in Colombo on 27 May 2024.

In addition, the letter addressed to the President speaks of Selvanayagam Ananthavarnan – a resident of Thonikal, Vavuniya, who was arrested after being summoned to the CTID office in Colombo on 26 March 2024 – currently detained at the Welikada Prison.

The letter further said that Ananthavarnan, who was arrested in March for allegedly attempting to revive the LTTE, was arrested in 2009 when he was a LTTE member and was released in 2017.

It added that he is engaged in welfare activities for former LTTE members’ children and families.

In his letter to the President, the Tamil people’s representative further written about S. Suthakaran, a resident of Trincomalee who was arrested at the airport two years ago when he arrived from India and currently detained at the Welikada Prison.

Through his letter, Shritharan requested the President to immediately stop such arrests and CTID investigations, and warned that intimidation of northern political activists have resulted in a negative perception about the government under the present President.

“In a context where investigations and arrests are carried out in a manner that amounts to intimidations and harassments against many activists who remain active on north-east Tamil platforms creating a negative perception about your government, your urgent attention is called to these developments.”

Through his letter, the public representative further requested the President to take immediate steps to release them.

“I request that their release be expedited, and that investigations and intimidations that destroy our people’s day-to-day lives be stopped.”

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