Ex-Tigers under surveillance

investigationCadre of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who have been “rehabilitated” and sent back into society after the war in North Sri Lanka, seem to be free from systematic surveillance, so long as they are not involved in any anti-government activism.

S Yogeswari (name changed), who has been taking part in demonstrations highlighting the disappearance of LTTE cadre who had surrendered to the army,  told Express that she lives in fear because of close surveillance.

Her husband, who was in the political wing of the LTTE, had surrendered to the army in her presence on May 18, 2009, through the good offices of Fr Francis Joseph. But he has not been heard of since then.

“Because I participate in these demonstrations, teams of investigators, including those from the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID), frequently visit me. When they come in the evenings, my kids and I get frightened,” the 45-year-old mother of three said.

Incidence of rape and kidnapping attributed to “unidentified persons” in her area, add to her fears. “I never leave my kids alone in the house and insist on dropping them and picking them up from school,” Yogeswari said.

She complains that while the army gives jobs to unqualified girls, paying them LKR 30,000 per month, her case is not considered despite her educational qualification and experience as a clerk. “I have to make do with LKR 6,000 I get per month from an NGO,” she said.

Jebanesan (name changed) was a fighting cadre of the LTTE when he was captured at Kilinochchi in 2009. Suspected to be an explosives smuggler, he was badly tortured and had to be hospitalized.

The 42-year-old father of three was eventually released with a clean chit, but has fallen foul of the state agencies, admittedly because of his defiant nature and closeness to the radical Tamil MP, S Sritharan.

“I am still a terrorist in their eyes. Every time there is an untoward incident here, I am investigated. My job applications are not entertained. When I set up a cable TV business, pressure was put on me to close it,” Jebanesan complained. (New Indian Express)

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