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Sri Lankan police arrest alleged ‘Aava gang’ members

The Sri Lankan police have arrested three Tamils in Jaffna this week, alleging that they are members of the ‘Aava gang’ responsible for various acts of violence in the region.

The three were part of a larger group who were reportedly celebrating a birthday celebrating at a home on Mallakam Church Lane, though authorities allege many managed to evade arrest.

Sri Lankan police also confiscated at least 5 motorcycles that were parked in front of the house.

The gang, which has reportedly carried out several acts of violence in the region, has been linked to Sri Lankan military intelligence. In December, a Sri Lankan brigadier who had been previously removed from a posting due to links with military-backed gangs causing unrest in Jaffna, has been appointed the head of State Intelligence Service (SIS) by Sri Lanka’s new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Brigadier Suresh Salley was Sri Lanka’s former Director of Military Intelligence (DMI) when a wave of unrest swept through the Jaffna peninsula in 2016, which authorities blamed on the ‘Aava gang’. Sri Lankan police had also shot dead two Tamil teenagers.

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