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LTTE is running a torture chamber in Batticaloa - SriLanka

Tamil Broadcasting Corporation News Report

16 December 2005

LTTE, the Sri Lankan terrorist organisation, is running a torture chamber at Veppavedduvan in the Batticaloa district where more than 160 Tamils are detained for various reasons. According to reliable information obtained by TBC, this torture chamber is well hidden from public view and consists of more than 15 underground cells constructed within the LTTE Camp premises situated near the Veppaveduvan Government School. These underground cells are well camouflaged and the construction is covered with sand.

A senior LTTE cadre Eelaventhan is in charge of the LTTE Camp and the torture chamber is controlled by Praba, who is deputy to Keerthi, LTTE’s Intelligence Chief for Batticaloa. Detainees are chained all the time except when they are allowed to use the toilets. LTTE intelligence operatives routinely torture the inmates. The detainees are not allowed to see anyone and are not even permitted to talk to each other.

Relatives of the detaines have made complaints to the International Red Cross Society members who are stationed in Batticaloa and to members of the Norwegian Ceasefire Monitoring Mission, but they say their complaints were not seriously considered by these international agencies.

The pathetic story of an elderly retired public servant from Batticaloa whose son was taken into custody by the LTTE in March this year is well known to the International Red Cross Society and the Norwegian Monitoring Mission. He had made repeated complaints to these international agencies and had even written to the Amnesty International and Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. But none were able to secure the release of his 32-year-old son, an employee of a private Courier Service. Though the LTTE has denied taking the old man’s son into custody, LTTE insiders have confirmed that his son is one of the 160 or more men kept chained in LTTE’s torture chamber at Veppavedduvan.

Torture is prohibited absolutely under the international criminal law in peace time as well as war time. It is a crime against humanity, a well established offence under customary international law as well as in numerous international treaties including the UN Convention against Torture. However, the LTTE which is accorded a quasi-diplomatic status by Norway, Japan and the European Union has so far gone unpunished for serious breaches of the conventions and treaties against torture and international criminal law which absolutely prohibits torture.

Even though the Tamil Broadcasting Corporation has detailed information of people who have intimate knowledge of the LTTE torture camp at Veppavedduvan, in order to protect the identity of these persons we cannot disclose this information publicly. However, it is time for the international community and international human rights agencies to act against the LTTE, which has, time and again, demonstrated that it has no respect for international law or the concerns of the international community. LTTE’s well recorded massacres of Muslims at the Kattankudy and Eravur mosques and the 48 hour evacuation of Muslims from the Jaffna district which are nothing but crimes against humanity and the thousands of massacres and assassinations of innocent Sinhalese civilians, members of rival Tamil parties, Tamil politicians and innocent Tamils who for one reason or other angered the LTTE or its cadres have so far gone unpunished. The irony is that despite these recorded atrocities, war crimes and crimes against humanity, international community, in particular such countries as Norway and its Nordic neigbours, are laying red carpet welcome to the LTTE and its politician wing members who present a smiling face masking their Fascist nature.



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