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Police arrest 8 youths for alleged gang violence ahead of May 18th 

Sri Lankan police on Saturday arrested 8 Tamil youths for allegedly taking part in sword fights in the Kokkuvil region over the past two days. 

The youths, from Manipay and Tellipalai, have been accused of being associated with the 'Ava gang'. 

Police officers in stations across the Jaffna division this week had their leave suspended indefinitely, with the North’s police chief citing failure to tackle gang violence around Jaffna town and its suburbs as the reason.

Last year, Sri Lankan police officials were accused of exaggerating reports of gang violence and arrest records to justify ramping up police and security force presence in the run-up to Maaveerar Naal.

Local civil society have expressed concerns that a similar tactic will be used to clamp down on organising around Mullivaikkal remembrance for May 18.