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Sri Lankan soldier assaults Tamil youth in Mullaitivu for ‘not wearing a mask’

A Sri Lankan army soldier attacked a Tamil youth, in Ananthapuram, Mullaitivu for allegedly not "wearing a mask" in public.

The youth was stopped and assaulted by the soldier at the Iranapalai junction in Mullaitivu earlier today, as he was on his way to a local hospital.

Following the assault, locals gathered at the site of the incident to challenge the army soldiers about their actions. The incident caused tension and fear amongst the locals, with many questioning whether the army have the right to attack someone for not wearing a mask.

The Puthukkudiyiruppu police who arrived at the scene following the incident, dispersed the crowd of locals. The victim lodged a complaint at the local Puthukkudiyiruppu police station and was admitted at the local hospital to get treatment for his injuries. Puthukkudiyiruppu police stated they are conducting further investigations into the incident.

This latest incident adds to the extensive catalogue of violence, intimidation and surveillance used by the Sri Lankan state across the North-East, under the guise of coronavirus guidelines. Last month, Sri Lankan soldiers forced locals to kneel in Batticaloa and arrested some Jaffna locals for allegedly "violating travel bans".

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