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Mannar Citizens' Committee speaks out against threats by security forces

The Mannar Citizens’ Committee, in a letter addressed to the Sri Lankan president today, outlined the intimidation and threats that Tamil human rights activists were facing in the North-East.

The committee expressed concern regarding strong evidence that suggested police and army forces were responsible for several cases of threats and intimidation against human rights workers, in the lead up and after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Extracts from the letter, which also included descriptions of individual cases of intimidation, are reproduced below.

“The competent authorities in the higher echelons of the Security Sector claim that the Government restored peace and security to the citizens of this country, but it is not so practically. The security excesses, CID threats and intimidation continue to be the order of civil routine almost daily.

“Civil Organisations and their workers face threats and intimidation by various types from the intelligence side varying from warning to telephone threats, extortion and intimidation. Even the people affected in various forms expressing their grievances, objections or protests in the internationally accepted democratic way and peaceful resistance are not tolerated in this Country.

We have to suspect the Police and Armed Forces to be responsible for this unlawful and undemocratic activity. As your Excellency is the Head of the Forces, we are bringing this unlawful an undue trespass of these persons so these will not be repeated and hoping that the persons responsible will be suitably dealt with.”