A 28-year-old Tamil man, recently deported from UK was found killed in Trincomalee on 18 April, news sources in the district told TamilNet Saturday. In the meantime, in a systematic combing operation launched by the special units of Colombo’s military and police establishments, up to 300 Tamil males and females have been ‘arrested’ and sent to military detention camps in Welikanda and Vavuniyaa since last Saturday. Among the victims are also people who have recently returned from Tamil Nadu and they too have now ended up in Welikanda and Vavuniyaa, the sources in Trincomalee further said.
Easwarathasan Ketheeswaran, forcefully sent back from UK in 2010, was living alone at Paalaiyoottu in Trincomalee city. Completing hotel management studies, he was making arrangements to leave the island seeking foreign employment. His wife is living abroad in UK.
On 18 April, he was visiting his aunt and went out for shopping. When he returned he had reportedly told his relatives not to go out as strange persons were wandering around the house. But, he was killed when he left the house later, the sources said.
Last year, SL military establishment let lose a so-called ‘Greese devil’ violent campaign threatening the security of Tamil women in the island.
The ‘white-van’ disappearances are a well-known legacy of the Rajapaksa regime. But, the present trend seems to be the use of knife. Another foreign returnee from Quatar was knifed to death by a motorbike squad in a Sri Lanka Army camp in Vadamaraadchi on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, last week, the military and police units that had come from Colombo to launch the combing operations in the district were having lists of recently deported people from abroad, the details of returnees from Tamil Nadu and details of ex- LTTE members who were released by them earlier, the sources further said.
Although the official explanation for the combing operations by the SL military was that it was targeting former LTTE members who had not undergone SL government ‘rehabilitation’ programme, the arrests that have taken place during the nights in the past week have also targeted those who were not members of the LTTE, civil sources further said.
On 21 April, a delegation of TNA parliamentary group leader R Sampanthan, that was in Kumpu’rup-piddi was interrupted by the people asking Mr. Sampanthan to intervene to save the people being arrested and being sent to detention. Mr. Sampanthan visited the SL Police station at Kumpu’rup-piddi and returned empty-handed with the explanation that the police authorities in Trincomalee were pointing their fingers at their hierarchy in Colombo.
The SL military has also taken an English teacher from Champoor.
Despite the earlier reports that around 200 Tamil men and women were sent to detention, the civil sources in Trincomalee city now say that reports reaching from several remote villages indicate that around 300 Tamils have been taken.
At Kumpu’rup-piddi alone, more than 40 Tamils have been arrested and sent to detention by the genocidal Sri Lankan military.