"Reports say that some soldiers from
Palaly military base entered several houses in the Ketpali Housing Scheme at
Mirusuvil in southern Thenmaratchy area on 17 May and attacked civilians,
damaged doors and windows and smashed household goods. S Yogarasa and P
Prabhakaran suffered injuries and were admitted to hospital. Soldiers are
also accused of attempting to rape a woman.
Jaffna Fishermen Associations say fishermen are being harassed by the
security forces. Two fishermen were admitted to hospital in early May after
an attack by the Navy off Mathagal, north-east of the peninsula. Some
fishermen in Gurunagar near Jaffna town were also assaulted and arrested.
The Army has constructed barbed wire fences along the sea coast in some
areas, making movement of fishermen difficult. They have also ordered the
removal of shops supplying food to fishermen on the coast.
While civilians faced problems from the security forces, the LTTE
continued to target other militant groups. Tamil group EPDP member and
former local councillor D Jeyarasa, 45, was shot dead on 3 May at Point
Pedro, while returning home after distributing EPDP’s newspaper Makkal
Kural (People’s Voice).
The LTTE office in Vadamaratchy was searched on 1 June by the Army for
radio equipment. Tiger Jaffna leader S Ilamparithy accused the Sri Lanka
Monitoring Mission (SLMM) of joining the search in breach of its neutral
role. Press reports say that the SLMM has agreed that future inspections
will be carried out by the SLMM alone.
Hundreds of people demonstrated before the Jaffna government secretariat
on 5 May against a new military camp in the heart of the town. Following
demands to vacate Subash and Gnanam hotels in the town, the Defence Ministry
chose the location for the new base. NGOs say a military base close to the
public library, market and government offices will affect civilian movement.
Army officers have called on the SLMM to intervene. A protest was also
staged in north-eastern Valvettithurai on 2 May against a proposed Army camp
near the playground of Chithampara College.
Concern has been expressed over continuing discrimination in resettlement
payments to returning internal refugees. Those returning from the Vanni are
paid Rs 25,000 for temporary shelters, but returnees from southern Sri Lanka
are denied this payment. After the Vavuniya-Jaffna A9 road was opened on 15
February last year, 44,181 families have returned to Jaffna but only 4,225
families have received assistance for shelter.
Some 22,000 war widows in Jaffna peninsula are also suffering without
proper assistance. Most of them lack food, clothing and medicines for their
children. Reports say only 10% of the widows receive assistance from NGOs or
government agencies. S Pradeepan, 22, was wounded by a landmine in late May
at Panichchady near Iyakachchi when he went to inspect his house.