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Tamil farmers in Batticaloa hospitalised after brutal assault and torture

Tamil cattle farmers in Batticaloa, who went in search of their missing cattle were kidnapped, and then brutally beaten by armed Sinhalese men, last Saturday. After attacking the farmers, the Sinhalese men then handed them over to Maha Oya police officials to arrest them and filed a case against them.

A few days later, the six farmers who were also subject to police brutality in custody, were released on bail after being produced in court.

The shaken farmers, who come from the Mayilathamadu and Maathavanai area, were transferred from the local hospital to the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital due to the severity of the injuries they sustained from the attack.  They stated that the Sinhalese individuals assaulted and violently tortured them - ripping their clothes and fiercely interrogating them in the process. 

“We were beaten with rods, and then chased and brutally kicked. They cupped their fists and hit us forcefully in the face. The pain in my back is unbearable.”

 

 

After being arrested, the victims stressed they were tied up and beaten by the Sri Lankan army and police. “During the interrogation, the police kept us outside in the pouring rain whilst they took shelter. The Sri Lankan army arrived, tied us up and attacked us whilst trying to piece together the situation. There were around 40 officials standing in a ring around us.”

 

Last Sunday, there was a protest held in response to the arrests of the Tamil farmers and the occupation of Tamil farmers’ land by Sinhala settlers.

The demonstration, which took place near the Siththandi Main Road in Batticaloa, was also attended by Eastern Provincial Council and Tamil National People's Front members.

Tamil farmers at the protest protesters chanted slogans and carried placards with slogans. Some of the posters displayed slogans such as: “The government, please do not carry out a genocide”, “We want our land” and ‘Release the innocent immediately”.

The Tamil farmers stated that the Governor of the Eastern Province, Anuradha Yahampath is responsible for the recurrence of violent and hostile attacks against the Tamil farmers.

They insisted she has continually ignored the complaints given to her from Tamil farmers about the effects of the Sinhala settlers’ interference on their livelihoods and she has enabled the creation of a rift in the relationship between Tamils and Sinhalese people in Batticaloa.

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