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Former cadres reveal accounts of continued rape

Sexual abuse and rape of former female LTTE cadres by Sri Lankan Army troops remains rampant in the North-East, as harrowing accounts from victims and medical professionals have revealed.

Former LTTE cadres told TamilNet of how rape and sexual abuse routinely took place in the detention camps that the Vanni population was herded into in after the Mullivaikal massacre of 2009. The abuse has not ceased, with the women reporting that such assaults were regular occurrences whenever they were “summoned” by Sri Lankan soldiers for “interrogation”.

Describing her ordeal as “sadistic”, one former cadre Pallavi, recounted how both low and high-ranking officers would sexually assault her when she was summoned into a local camp. 

“It is very obvious that they get pleasure from our sufferings”

Another cadre told of how after 3 hours of interrogation at an army camp, she was drugged and awoke to find that she had been sexually assaulted.

I couldn’t do anything. I came alive out of that interrogation, crying.”

Many women have become pregnant as a result, leading many to seek illegal abortions, as one woman revealed.

“I don’t like to live here. I may be in peace if I go elsewhere. Otherwise there is no option other than committing suicide with my entire family

Suicide, as a result from the sexual abuse, has also plagued the North-East. A doctor told of women swallowing razor blades, hanging themselves and self-immolating, as was the case with 32-year old, Ms. Subhodini Sivalingam. Subhodini, who spent 15 years with the LTTE, immolated herself in her house at Polika’ndi in Vadamaraadchi, Jaffna, after repeated sexual abuse from the military.

The doctor, desperate from the turmoil, told TamilNet,

“I don’t know what to do with most of the cases… There is no international system to protect them in the island or provide refuge outside.”

Another former cadre who had survived recent suicide attempts after sexual assaults by Sri Lankan soldiers said,

“I feel like fighting again. If I get a gun I would kill a particular lot before losing my life.”

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