Four people in Jaffna were arrested in the early hours on charges of forming groups aimed at reestablishing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), reportedly after having a telephone conversation with individuals arrested on weapons charges in India. Out of the four arrested, two were from the Ilavalai police division, whilst the other two were from Irupalai and Palali.
A former LTTE cadre from Puthukudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu was also arrested by the TID for maintaining contact with the four arrested in Jaffna. The former cadre and father of two, 45-year-old Nadanasabesan Logarasa, had undergone the Sri Lankan government’s notorious ‘rehabilitation’ programme at the end of the armed conflict in 2009.
All five have reportedly been taken to Colombo for questioning.
The arrests follow the arrest last week of the Mayor of Jaffna by the TID on trumped up charges, which was met with widespread outrage and condemnation across the island and internationally.
Speaking on the arrests this morning, TNA MP Charles Nirmalanathan urged the international community to act, stating that the arrests were part of an ongoing crackdown in the North-East to appease the Sri Lankan government’s Sinhalese voters and to keep the threat of the LTTE regrouping alive in their imaginations in order to distract from problems in the South.