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Tamils demand justice over Sri Lankan police assault

The family and community of a Tamil man, whom Sri Lanka Police officers assaulted at the Puliyankulam station, organized a protest outside the station. They demanded the arrest of the officer-in-charge and his presentation before the courts.

Approximately 40 protesters carried placards and banners during the demonstration outside the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police of the Vavuniya division. Their primary demand was for the police to ensure justice is served.

The family members also questioned why the police were protecting a foreign individual, whom they allege also assaulted their relative. Earlier last month, the individual, a father of one and resident of Poovarasankulam told reporters he had received a call from the police asking him to present himself at the station for an ongoing investigation. 

“When I got there, they took my phone and my bag. They then tied my hands,” he said. “There was a foreigner there and they all began to assault me. They then dragged me away like a dog and tried to make me get into their vehicle.”

He told reporters that he had tried to alert the others inside the station of the injustice that he was going through but the officers continued to assault him. “This time a police officer kicked me in the chest with his boots.”

He said that a senior police officer who arrived at the station recorded a statement from him after which he and his wife was asked to go home. “Because of the assault, I was in pain and admitted myself to the hospital.” The individual’s wife has since filed a complaint at the Human Rights Commission regional office asking for an inquiry over the assault.

Earlier in April, Sri Lanka police assaulted another Tamil man after he had asked police to return his phone which they had seized.

This incident follows a decades-long pattern of Sri Lanka's police abuse of Tamils. In January of this year, a Tamil youth who was recently released from prison in Jaffna died. In November 2023, a Tamil youth was tortured to death by Sri Lankan police.

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