TNA MP complains of harassment by military
COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) - TNA Jaffna District MP S. Sritharan alleges he was harassed by army, police and Terrorist Investigation Division personnel, who ransacked his residence in search of explosives, while he was attending parliament.
TNA Jaffna District MP S. Sritharan, on Wednesday (21), said that while he was attending parliament army, police and Terrorist Investigation Division personnel had ransacked his residence in search of explosives.
Raising a privilege issue, the Jaffna District MP said that he had been subjected to continuous harassment by the security forces personnel.
He said that his house at No 882, Arumugam Road, Vattakachchi in Kilinochchi had been surrounded by more than 100 service personnel and searched for explosives. "They even dug up my garden in search for buried weapons and explosives. They should have informed me if they wanted to search my house. There is a caretaker by the name of Shanmugathasan. The military personnel ordered him to open the doors and to assist in the search operation. This amounts to breach of my privileges as an MP. I am unable to speak freely in parliament and in my country because of the constant threats from the security forces.
"It was for second time I was harassed this year. On March 18, four soldiers and a policeman arrived at my rented house in Jaffna. They searched that place, too. They threw away the books from my son’s bookshelves. Why am I being subjected to this type of harassment?"
"While I was coming to Colombo to attend Parliament on July 3, 2011, some gunmen belonging to a paramilitary group maintained by the then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa shot at me. I escaped unhurt. The Army and police officers searched my party office in Kilinochchi on Jan 12, 2013. On that day, too, I was here in Parliament. Again on Jan. 22, 2013 TID personnel raided the same office and they even took away the computers and documents of my telephones. In April same year, while our party leader Mavai Senathiraja, party spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran, MP Saravanapavan and myself were having a meeting at my party office with our party men, around 2,000 military personnel surrounded the office and harassed us. I was summoned for inquiries to the Fourth Floor of the CID six times. This is a serious issue. I am an MP how can I render my services to the people. I call upon the Speaker to look into this matter.
State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene promised to order immediate inquiries and ensure that the MP would not be harassed.