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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Sri Lankan security forces conduct massive sweep of Tamils

[b]Sri Lankan security forces conduct massive sweep of Tamils in Colombo[/b]

In a flagrant violation of basic democratic rights, calculated to inflame communal tensions, Sri Lanka’s security forces launched a massive cordon and search operation against Tamil residents of the capital Colombo on December 31.

Entire neighbourhoods were sealed off and nearly a thousand Tamils were arrested and held incommunicado for hours after the terrifying pre-dawn raids. Houses were ransacked, people were searched and detainees were systematically fingerprinted, foot printed, photographed and videotaped. By the end of the day, most were released, but 53 remained in custody.

It was the first major anti-Tamil crackdown in Colombo since the signing of a 2002 ceasefire agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Security forces sought to justify the operation in the vaguest manner, with deputy inspector-general of police Pujith Jayasundara claiming it was aimed at "preventing future LTTE attacks and to ensure the security of Colombo."

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