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Jaffna petitions pile up against army and police

The Supreme Court has received a further set of 30 petitions from residents in Jaffna in addition to the 22 already filed, regarding the military’s assault on civilians in the aftermath of ‘grease devil’ attacks in the North-East.

See report from the Daily Mirror here.

In August, the security forces arrested and tortured hundreds of youth in Jaffna, following a protest against the military harbouring ‘grease devils’ – night prowlers who attack women.

The petitioners have also stated that after being arrested they were forced to sign documents in Sinhala, a language that they could not understand.

All the petitions have been fixed for support on the 27th of October.

See our earlier post: ‘To protect and serve... Sinhalese' (Oct 2011)

Extracts of one of the victim’s account have been reproduced below.

The petitioner said in the aftermath of the incident of ‘Grease Yaka’ phenomenon on August 22, at around 9 p.m, he woke up to the sound of gunshots and saw gun fire near Nicholas Mary’s Church and around 40 – 50 people moving from Naalu Santhi (four junctions) sentry point to Navanthurai junction shouting and making a big noise and he heard alarming noises from the vicinity.

Around 11.30 p.m., there was repeated banging on his door asking the inmates of the house to come outside. Army personnel subsequently broke open his door and dragged his sister’s husband along with him out of the house and continued to assault them with pipes, wooden and iron rods, he said.

He said they were then brought to Navanthurai market junction where he along with other civilians were further assaulted and forced into the police jeep and thrown out of the jeep where Woman Police Constable Nadeeka assaulted him with her footwear indiscriminately on his forehead, chest and male organ. He said they along with other civilians were then loaded into buses near Viloonri Pillaiyar Temple and brought to the Jaffna police station.

The police officers continued to write something in Sinhala in the process of recording his statement to which he was unaware of the contents. He was asked to sign. Next day the August 23, they were taken to the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court and after the court proceedings, at 6.30 p.m., he was admitted to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.He complained that being made to sign statements in Sinhala despite being a Tamil speaking resident of Jaffna in the Northern Province constitutes his language rights guaranteed under the Constitution which requires that the language of administration in the Northern and Eastern Provinces shall be Tamil. He bemoans no effective steps have been taken to ensure that Tamil speaking persons in Sri Lanka in areas where the language of administration is Sinhala, are enabled to make statements at police stations in a language they are conversant in either Tamil or English.

Read the report from the Daily Mirror here

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