Human Rights defender Rev. Fr. Praveen, former director of the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (CPR), who has been subjected to harassment by the occupying SL military several times, has been arrested by the occupying Sri Lankan military and Police in Ki’linochchi Sunday night together with a human rights activist from Colombo, Ruki Fernando, when the two human rights activists were trying to locate information on what had happened to 13-year-old Vipooshika and her mother Jeyakumari at Tharumapuram in Ki’lnochchi. Ruki Fernando is a human rights adivisor with INFORM. In the meantime, a reliable source inside the Sri Lankan police revealed some exclusive details to a media source in Colombo on what happened to the arrested Jeyakumari and her daughter.
Whether Vipooshika is to be sent for a longer term stay at a juvenile centre or not is a matter to be decided by the Court on Monday.
Informed human rights sources said the nuns were seeking to look after the girl.
In the meantime, the occupying SL military was engaged in indiscriminate attacks on Tamil youth at several locations. The SL military at Aananthapuram in Mullaiththeevu was seen assaulting a youth around 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. A younger brother of the victim recorded the episode on his mobile. Noticing this the SL military also detained the younger boy. Both of them were released around 8:00 p.m.
Similar attacks were reported at Manthuvil in Puthukkudiyiruppu. A youth was arrested at Pazhai Sunday night. Already, two youths have been detained from Pazhai for allegedly circulating a notice.
A 27-year-old lady, Nitharsana, is detained at Visuvamadu SL military camp after her mother and a brother were released after their arrest on 12 March.
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The police source has claimed that there was a man inside their house. But, the man was a Sri Lankan intelligence operative who was sent inside the house as other intelligence operatives were standing outside the house. It was a pre-planned operation involving hundreds of soldiers. All kind of armoured vehicles were also deployed in the counter-insurgency styled operation.
The mother and the daughter were arrested outside the house as they had managed to escape from the intelligence operatives. The Sri Lankan soldiers fired a couple of shots as they entered the house, he said. The intelligence team gathered details of bank books, phone numbers and all sorts of contacts the family was having. The source claimed that it was a kind of ‘mock-up’ operation for future round-up operations. The SL soldiers deployed in the operation did not know that it was a such training operation at all, the source said: “only the top officials knew about it”.
The mother and daughter were handcuffed and taken to TID office at Ki’linochchi, where she was continuously beaten.
The daughter, Vipooshika, was not attacked, but was subjected to mental torture as the interrogators were repeatedly questioning her on why she was present at the protests in Jaffna when Human Rights High Commissioner Navaneetham Pillay and British PM David Cameron visited Jaffna.
On the question whether any female police interrogators were present, the source said that all the involved, both from the military and the police, were men. The interrogation of the mother went on from 8:00 p.m. on Thursday till 2:00 a.m. Friday.
The victims were taken to Vavuniyaa to obtain a report from a Judicial Medical Officer who was simply instructed to certify that everything was fine with the mother.
The mother could understand spoken Sinhala. But, she didn’t seem to understand what was written on the statement, the police source further said.
The mother and daughter were detained separately most of the time on the following day.
After securing a court order under Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) clauses on the mother on the allegations of aiding ‘terrorism’, she was transferred to a longer term remand.
The girl, Vipooshika was handed over to a probation officer to place her at a juvenile centre as there was no one prepared to look after her. However, she was sent to Ki’linochchi hospital for medical attention as requested by the JMO, the source further said.
On the question of what kind of instruction they were having from the SL Defence Ministry in Colombo, the source further said that the instruction was to target all those who have a potential to mobilise and function as supporters of a future struggle by the Tamils.
A particular instruction is given to trace the links to Diaspora, the source said adding that these instructions were coming from a source of paranoia. “The thinking is that it is the supporters who are more dangerous than the former LTTE fighters themselves,” the source further said.