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Sri Lankan police arrest 30 Tamils in Vavuniya for ‘not wearing masks’

More than 30 Tamils in Vavuniya were arrested for allegedly not wearing masks with court cases already filed by Vavuniya police against them. 

In a special operation carried out by the Vavuniya police last week, led by senior officer Roshan Chandrasekara, dozens of Tamil men were arrested and taken away in vans. Police further warned that severe action would be taken against those who do not adhere to social distancing measures. 

Earlier this week, Sri Lankan police arrested 50 people on Wednesday for allegedly violating coronavirus regulations. in Jaffna. Sri Lankan police have also been seen dragging Tamils in Jaffna this month, making wide arrests and threatening serious court cases against individuals for allegedly not following coronavirus protocols. 

Read more here: Sri Lanka police shown dragging Tamils in Jaffna

The military-enforced coronavirus response has masked severe intimidation and harassment of Tamils in the North-East under the guise of health and safety. 

Furthermore, despite Sri Lanka’s highly militarised COVID-19 task force, it has failed to control the pandemic as Public Health Inspectors (PHS) reported that Sri Lanka has a higher infection rate per capita compared to India. Instead, state officials have intensified their crackdown on the North-East with a series of arrests, lockdowns and shut downs stifling livelihood opportunities for already impoverished Tamils in the North-East. 

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