A psy-ops squad, operated by SL Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, has started to ‘interrogate’ and harass former fighters and members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who have been released after the detention and so-called rehabilitation programme. Claiming that they belong to a ‘special CID unit’ from Colombo, the psy-ops squad from Colombo has been picking up former LTTE members and those who have earlier served in in the civil bodies under the LTTE administration, taking them to public places such as schools and harassing them psychologically as well as meting out physical torture on to them. Further, as part of the harassment programme, the military squad has confiscated the release papers issued to the ‘rehabilitated’ LTTE cadres by the ICRC and the International Organisation of Migration (IOM).
Those who were harassed by the squad have been instructed not to complain with human rights groups and not to reveal the torture meted out to them to the media. Some of those ‘interrogated’ have sustained injuries due to the torture.
Such interrogations have taken place in recent days in Naddaang-ka’ndal, Paa’ndiyan-ku’lam and Vanni-vi’laang-ku’lam of Maanthai East division of Mullaiththeevu district.
Similar episodes have also been reported from Visuvamadu, Odduchuddaan and in Mu’l’liya-va’lai.
The victims complain that they were psychologically harassed even after they have been allowed to reunite with their families after prolonged psychological torture in the name of ‘rehabilitation’ at the hands of the SL military.
They have been identified and certified by the IOM and ICRC while they were declared released.
However, the papers they had with them from the IOM and ICRC, were forcibly taken from them by the psy-ops squad.
If the former LTTE members attempt to flee the island through the international airport in Colombo, they would be caught by the Sri Lankan intelligence and would be sent to undeclared detention, the squad has warned further.
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