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Sexual violence and militarisation in North-East are closely interlinked – K Guruparan

Militarisation of the North-East and sexual violence against Tamils are "closely interlinked" said Jaffna University Lecturer of Law, Kumaravadivel Guruparan, commenting on the recent release of 7 Sri Lankan navy rape suspects, accused of the rape of an 11 year old girl in Karainagar.

"It is noteworthy that the incident took place in the Karainagar Island," said Mr Guruparan to the Tamil Guardian.

"In the mid 1980s a colonial era navy camp in Karainagar was expanded and in 2003 (during the ceasefire period) 153 families were sent legal notice regarding acquisition of more than 78 acres of land. When I was carrying out some research on this in 2012 I was told by people that even those who lived within 1 1/2 km radius to the camp didn't want to live there for reasons of insecurity," he said.

"The incident is yet another reminder of the closely interlinked issues of militarisation and sexual violence," Mr Guruparan added, drawing attention to another recent rape case, where the suspect was a Sri Lankan soldier.

“It will be remembered that a similar incident took place in June 2013 in Nedunkerni (Vavuniya) in which a 6 year old child was allegedly raped by a Sri Lanka army soldier. The suspect in that case was enlarged on bail. Reports indicate that the case was not further proceeded with or has been deliberately left in a limbo.”

The Tamil Guardian has learned that parents of the 11 year old rape victim were threatened by Sri Lankan navy, after lodging a complaint with the police regarding the attack.

For more on this story, see links below:

Sri Lankan navy personnel suspected of rape released by police (18 July 2014)

11 year old girl raped by navy officer in Jaffna (16 July 2014)