Paramilitaries Abduct Tamil Girls

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Demonstration outside the High Court in Colombo demanding the release of all political prisoners
Demonstration outside the High Court in Colombo demanding the release of all political prisoners

TAMILNET reports that fatigue uniform clad armed men who came in a white van abducted a 16-year-old girl student last Monday night around 11.30 from her house in Karungkaalichchoalai in Vaazhaichcheanai police division in Batticaloa district.

They also abducted another 16-year-old girl student from the same area on Tuesday night around the same time from her house.

The armed men had also tried to abduct a young woman from another house in Karungkaalichchoalai but had let her go when she, amidst wails, had pleadedsaying she is married, residents in the area told TamilNet.

The Peaththaalai Meththaveddu police station is located just 500 metres from the place where the white van armed men abducted the teenage girl students.

The girl abducted on Monday night is Kunasuntharam Pushparanee, 16, orphaned when her parents died in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami disaster in Paasikkuda, was living in the care of her elder brother when she was abducted.

Pushparanee is a grade 11 student of Kalkudaa Naamaka’l Viththiyaalayam.

The other girl abducted on Tuesday night is Yogananantham Yasothini, 16, also a grade 11 student in the same school.

Yasothini, whose father has died, was living with her mother at the time of abduction.

Tsunami affected people from the villages of Kalkudaa and Paasikkuda in Batticaloa district are resettled in Karungkaalichcholai.

The relatives of the two abducted girls have registered complaints with the Police and also approached the paramilitary camp in Vaazhaicheanai urging help to locate the missing girls.

Karungkaalichcholai is situated 32 km north of Batticaloa town.

Meanwhile, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil eelam (LTTE) Political Head B. Nadesan gave a patient hearing to the grievances of fishermen at an undisclosed location in Ki’linochchi on Tuesday and assured their representatives that the Tiger leadership would strengthen its support to them to sustain their livelihood.

LTTE Political Head B. Nadesan addressing the gathering.

Sea Tigers Deputy Commander Vinayagam is seated on the Left.

More than one hundred representatives of fisheries trade unions and community organisations from Mullaiththeevu, Vadamaraadchi East, Poonakari and Mannaar spent two hours with the LTTE Political Head.

The meeting was presided over by Vinaayakam, deputy commander of the Sea Tigers.

They discussed in detail issues ranging from fresh water supply, internal displacement, Sri Lanka Air Force indiscriminate air attacks, economic blockade and attacks on fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy.

‘The fishermen community bears the brunt of Colombo’s oppression and extermination through various means,’ Nadesan said, addressing the representatives.

He assured the representatives of the LTTE’s active engagement to ensure sustainable living conditions in the war-ravaged environment.

A section of fisheries community representatives were at the meeting.

Also, The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Civil Administration Authorities in Thenmaraadchi area are refusing to issue travel permits to residents to travel out of the Jaffna peninsula for urgent and essential purposes, according to complaints made to Jaffna Human Rights Commission (HRC), Tuesday.

The complainants are from places in Thenmaraadchi including Meesaalai, Kachchaai and Kodikaamam. A few who approached the HRC for help were able to get the travel permits after the HRC officials spoke to the SLA office on behalf of the applicants, affected residents said.

Residents in Jaffna peninsula wishing to leave the peninsula have to travel either by ship or plane after the SLA closure of A9 land route.

The travel permit issued by the SLA is a prerequisite to such travel out of the peninsula.

SLA Civil Administration Offices located in each area in the peninsula issue these travel permits.

Most of the persons seeking HRC protection due to death threats by SLA troops and SLA-backed paramilitary men are from Thenmaraadchi area.

l The Sri Lanka Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who is on a six-day official visit to India, on Tuesday has admitted that both countries enjoyed a sound military relationship according to reports in the Indian media.

‘Militarily we have had very good relationships for a long time and we hope to continue the relationships that we are having right now.

‘We are very happy with that,’ he told mediapersons after inspecting a Guard of Honour at the Indian Defence Ministry headquarters.

‘The relations between both countries are good at the political level but need to be increased at the military level,’ he said having met his Indian counterpart General Deepak Kapoor on Tuesday afternoon.

‘I am here to further strengthen the military ties,’ he told reporters.

Fonseka reportedly urged India to supply arms to Colombo which has been procuring its sophisticated, lethal weapons from China and Pakistan.

Since several countries have withheld aid to Sri Lanka because of its abusive human rights record, Fonseka has turned to New Delhi to procure ‘light helicopters, combat vehicles and other infantry systems to arm its troops with modern weaponry’ according to reports in the Indian media.

Though India hasn’t contributed lethal weaponry that would further the Tamil genocide, it has supplied three indigenously produced ‘Indra’ radars to Sri Lanka.

In recent days, high-ranking Indian officers have admitted to providing intelligence inputs to the Sri Lankan forces and conducting coordinated patrols in the Palk Straits.

Informed Indian news-reports expect New Delhi to offer to freely upgrade Colombo’s air defences to balance the threat from LTTE’s newly established air wing.

Armed with a heavy wallet (Colombo’s projected defence spending for 2008 stands at 1.57 billion dollars, up 20 per cent from last year), Fonseka’s visit resembles a weapon shopping spree.

On Wednesday, Fonseka is scheduled to call on the Indian Defence Minister A. K. Antony, National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan, Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, Indian Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, and the Indian Air Force chief Marshal Fali Home Major.

On Monday Fonseka toured areas close to the Line of Control near the Pakistani border for an operational briefing about anti-militancy operations of the Indian Army’s northern command.

He flew in an Indian army helicopter to forward post at Tangdhar and sought details of the tactics being used to fight militants and foil suicide attacks.

For a man from a war-torn country, Fonseka’s Indian tour also has its tourism component. As his troops keep dying in dozens, Fonseka will be seen saying his prayers at Bodh Gaya, a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, apart from stopping over briefly at Agra to admire the legendary Taj Mahal.

However Fonseka is no stranger to India: he has attended extensive courses at the Indian Army’s Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Varingte in Mizoram and at the Commando School at Belgaum in Karnataka.