Army uses civilians as human shields - MP
| Date: 19980503
Joseph Parajasingham MP (Tamil United Liberation Front, Batticaloa District) has written to Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga requesting her to bring to a halt the practice of subjecting youths to hard labour under inhuman conditions by Sri Lankan Army (SLA).
Troops of the SLA's rapid reaction force from the Kurumanveli camp are said to be arrestin youths from the Aruvil, Mahiloor and Kurumanveli villages in the Batticaloa District and using them as forced labour.
This type of inhuman and uncivilised behaviour by the SLA has contributed to disaffection and a lack of confidence in the security forces among the youth and will compel them (the youth) to join the Tigers (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) said Mr. Pararajasingham in his faxed message to the President.
Persons between the ages of 12 and 40 are forced to register their names at the Kurumanveli camp every Sunday between 7 a.m.-10 a.m. by the SLA.
Those who fail to do so are assaulted mercilessly when they go camp the following Sunday.
After registering, they are taken to the Amparai jungles by Sri Lankan soldiers and made to chop firewood and dig trenches at gun point.
On certain occasions they are even used as human shields said Mr. Pararajasingham.
He added that although there had been reduction of such incidents after he had complained to the President in the past, they had surfaced again at the Kurumanveli SLA camp.