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Vulnerable Tamil women worse-off under emergency regulations

Vulnerable Tamil women have become worse-off under Sri Lanka’s emergency regulations, campaigners have said.

Speaking at a conference on International Widows Day in Batticaloa, campaigners for female-headed households and families of disappeared said that surveillance and harassment by intelligence personnel have worsened since the Easter Sunday attacks.

“These emergency regulations have emboldened intelligence personnel more than ever,” a campaigner said. “While they are supposed to be used to prevent further terrorist attacks like those that happened on Easter Sunday, instead they are being used to crack down on vulnerable Tamil women in female-headed households - war widows and the wives of the forcibly disappeared.”

Tamil women who head their households have already been enduring harassment, intimidation and blackmail from the military as well as government officials for years since the end of the war, and earlier in the East, campaigners said. The conference discussed how conditions have become much worse since the bomb blasts on Easter Sunday.