21 of around 100 former LTTE female members, who were conscripted to Sri Lankan military in Vanni, were admitted in Ki’linochchi hospital in a mentally affected state on Tuesday night around 11:00 p.m. by the SL military from Paarathipuram in Ki’linochchi, parents of the victims told TamilNet. In the meantime, TNA parliamentarian Sritharan was at the hospital struggling to get permission to witness the plight of the victims. But, around 30 SL military personnel guarding the hospital were not allowing him to independently witness the state of the victims, the parliamentarian told TamilNet.
Tension prevails as the kith and kin of the females are not allowed to meet them and journalists and civil activists are kept in the dark. There is widespread fear of sexual exploitation and harassment inflicted on conscripted Tamil girls in the SL military.
For more than 2 weeks parents were not able to get in touch with their daughters and they were in shock to learn that the victims were admitted to the hospital.
Official explanation from the medical sources at the hospital was that 13 females were admitted in a “possessed” (Peay adiththu channatham aadiya) state. But, parents and relatives of the victims put the number at minimum 21.
The victims were protesting against forced conscription to military service. During conscription, the families were promised that their daughters would be given office work and parents could visit them every Sunday. But, when the parents visited last Sunday they were not allowed. They may able to visit once a month, that too can’t be guaranteed, the parents were told.
In order to show that Tamils are joining the almost exclusive Sinhala military, announcements were made last month through loudspeakers and village offices that many privileges would be given to girls joining the SL military.
Those who were coerced to join, numbering around 140, were kept at an SL military training camp at Krishnapuram that was earlier an academy for disabled fighters (Navam A’rivuk Koodam) in the LTTE times.
The girls who were taken for the SL military soon felt coming out and they told this to the visiting parents. There were arguments between parents and the SL military last week.
The girls were not allowed to return home even to prepare for the GCE O’Level exams falling this month.
They were not given with any professional military training either. The SL military told them that they would be taken on a ‘tour’ programme soon. According to an inmate most of the girls were crying to come out, but they were intimidated by the SL military.
Around 10 of the girls had already managed to flee from the occupying SL military.
Around 8 girls were noticed in a mentally affected state last week itself. They were crying incessantly.
The SL military brought an exorcist to the camp to ‘treat’ the girls on Monday. According to sources close to the occupying military, the shaman priest, who conducted special rituals, told the SL military that 14 more would get possessed and one might lose life as spirits are haunting them.