— Manjula Basnayake (@BasnayakeM) July 6, 2022
Video footage has emerged from a petrol station in Sri Lanka, showing Special Task Force troops threatening to plant drugs on civilians and arrest them.
“We are STF not the police,” an officer is seen stating in the video which was shared widely on social med. “We will put Kerala Cannabis and take them to the High Court.”
The STF is a paramilitary police unit that is accused of committing mass atrocities over the course of the armed conflict and is increasingly involved in harassing and surveilling the civilian population across the North-East since the end of the conflict.
The planting of drugs on civilians is not an unheard of tactic by the Sri Lankan security forces. In 2014, a group of Tamil journalists who were on their way to a US Embassy-funded workshop had their vehicle stopped by the Sri Lankan military who planted drugs on them. The journalists were arrested before being eventually released.