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Fate of young detainees in Thellippazhai SLA Rehabilitation camp bleak

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 June 2009 13:48 No Comment]

The fate of nearly 300 young women and more than 500 young men from Vanni held in Thellippazhai Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Special Rehabilitation Camp (SRC) continues to remain unceratin and bleak, local NGO sources expressed concern. Education officials who had visited SRC said that there are more than a hundred youngsters between 14 to 18 ages whose educational needs are ignored by SLA authorities in charge of SRC. Neither UNICEF nor any other international organization has been permitted to visit these young detainees, sources in Jaffna said.

These detainees had been forcibly taken away from the SLA internment camps in Jaffna where Vanni civilians are being held, to Thellippazhai SRC by SLA soldiers in the recent past.

Detainees in Thellippazhai SRC are lodged in the houses of the residents displaced from Valikaamam North when SLA declared the area as High Security Zones (HSZs).

Though information on some of the SRC detainees is available through officials permitted to visit them, the state and fate of the rest remain unknown.

The teen-agers are being detained on claims that they had been militarily trained by the Liberation Tigers in Vanni.

Most of the young men held in SRC are being continually used by SLA officials to renovate sentry points, constructing earthen dams for security and cleaning the area around the SLA camps in Valikaamam North, the sources added.

Meanwhile, efforts taken by Educational officials to shift nearly 300 young women detainees from Thellippazhai SRC to the buildings of Jaffna Open University buildings located near Jaffna Technical College to engage in some sort of educational pursuit have been blocked by SLA in Thellippazhai, education officials said.

These young women detainees who are in the direct control of SLA soldiers in the HSZ are vulnerable in many ways, the sources added.

Some of the detainees though allowed to follow vocational training courses in Jaffna Technical College their development and future are not promising, despite government propaganda, the sources said.

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