HR activists abducted in North

Police abort demo by missing persons’ next-of-kin
By Chris Kamalendran

Two activists from the Movement for People’s Struggle (MPS) were abducted from a suburb in Jaffna on Friday evening, a day ahead of International Human Rights Day yesterday. The Movement’s Jaffna District organiser, Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Murugappan Kugan were grabbed at Avarankal Road in Jaffna, while riding his motorcycle home, MPS spokesman, Udul Premaratne said.

He said the victims had also on previous occasions been threatened and warned against getting involved in local politics. Later, a complaint was made at Atchuveli Police, while Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had also been informed, he added.

The police have begun a detailed investigation into the incident and are optimistic of an early breakthrough, Head Quarters Inspector (HQI) Saman Sigera told the Sunday Times.
Meanwhile, at least 50 activists from the South were briefly detained by police, when they attempted to participate in a demonstration held to mark International Human Rights Day in Jaffna town early yesterday.

The group made up of parents, children and relatives of persons missing during and after the north-east conflict, were briefly detained near the Jaffna bus terminal. The demonstration was planned to be held outside the Jaffna Nurses’ Training School. The police are also alleged to have grabbed the camera and deleted pictures taken by the Sunday Times journalist, N. Parameswaram.

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