Over recent weeks, several parts of Sri Lanka have experienced a spate of sexual assaults against women. The attacks are alleged to have been carried out by masked men, known as 'grease devils'.
Curiously, the incidents are occurring despite a heavy police and military presence.
DIG Pujith Jayasundara, of Batticaloa police, addressing a crowd of angry Batticaloa residents, shared his professional opinion:
“The evil forces of the Tamil diaspora, resentful of the President’s development programme in the North and the East, are deliberately spreading malicious rumours about a grease yaka,” he said.
“We won the war, and these people [the Tamil diaspora] are telling us stories of grease devils. Vakarai was once a terrorist area. Now it is ours.”
“The grease yaka is the work of people who cannot bear to see our people living in peaceful co-existence. The people must co-operate with the defence forces to put an end to this problem.”
The on-going attacks have led to widespread fear and public outrage at the police's seeming inability to apprehend those responsible.
The 'grease devil' phenomenon has led to much speculation among Sri Lanka's media.
The phenomenon is said to have first arisen from Kahawatter, Ratnapura, where an army deserter murdered seven elderly women over a year. The day after his arrest, another man was arrested for the murder of an elderly woman. He too was found to be an army deserter.