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Jeyakumari protest organiser attacked near Nedunkerny army camp

last updated 14:02 BST 09 Oct

A community leader, who was organising a protest to demand the release of the detained human rights activist, Balendran Jeyakumari, was attacked on Wednesday near by Nedunkerny army camp.

Sixty-one year old Krishnapillai Thevarajah, who is the President of the Vavuniya Citizens Committee, was walking home after chairing a meeting about the protest which is to be held on October 10, when four unidentified men travelling on motorbikes surrounded him, clasped his mouth shut and dragged him to a nearby paddy field.

“On my way home … while I was riding my motorcycle, I was assaulted by four men with iron rods,” Thevarajah told ucanews.

“While they were attacking, they said that there should not be a demonstration,” he said. “The attackers closed my mouth and dragged me to an isolated paddy field near the main road and the intention was to kill me.”

Speaking in broken Tamil the attackers shouted, “So you are organising a protest? You can do that only if you are alive". This was followed with more abusive words, as the attackers beat Mr Thevarajah with iron rods across his arms, legs and head. The rod was deflected by his helmet, with the blows landing on his shoulders instead.

Sources in the area said they had no doubt this was "a murder attempt", but that the attack was cut short, as the protective fence around the paddy field prevented the attackers from dragging the victim further away.

Mr Thevarajah was taken to Nedunkerny hospital for treatment of his injuries. He is understood to have sustained fractures to his limbs.

He was subsequently transferred to Vavuniya District Hospital via ambulance for further treatment.

See related article: 'Why Sri Lanka's detention of Balenderan Jayakumari is so sinister' - Callum Macrae (01 October 2014)

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