Activist groups are now confirming that a Tamil woman from Kilinochchi and her 13 year old daughter have been arrested by police investigators following a five hour raid on their home at Dharmapuram last evening.
Both of them are reportedly being held in Vavuniya.
Reports that Balendran Jeyakumari a prominent campaigner for families of the disappeared in the Kilinochchi District and her daughter were being detained inside her home which is in the Indian Housing scheme broke late afternoon yesterday (13).
Media and Tamil politician Gajen Ponnambalam reported that Jayakumari’s home had been surrounded by police and armed forces personnel at about 4:30 P.M. on Thursday (13). Ponnambalam and other friends who called Jayakumari on her phone reported that the woman had first answered and that later her phone was snatched away by men claiming to be police, who said there was an investigation under way before switching off the mobile. Neighbours reported the sound of screams and crying by Vithushaini at the home. Media personnel rushing to the scene were not permitted to get close to Jayakumari’s residence, with police cordoning off the area near her home. For several hours no reports emerged about their whereabouts, although late Wednesday night, Ponnambalam said there were unconfirmed reports Jayakumari and her daughter had been arrested.
Police meanwhile, told reporters in Colombo that one policeman had been injured in an attack when a team of police personnel was attempting to arrest a suspected Ex-LTTE cadre in Kilinochchi. Police Spokesman Ajith Rohana told the BBC on Thursday that the suspect had been in a house in which there were two women who were now being investigated. More unconfirmed reports are emerging about further police casualties.
Jayakumari and her daughter Vithushaini are familiar faces in disappearances protests and were heavily photographed during the missing peoples’ protest in Jaffna when British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the area during CHOGM in November last year. Jayakumari had four children – two sons were killed in the war and a third went missing after she handed him over to the military in May 2009. Her 13 year old daughter is her last remaining child. Both Jayakumari and her daughter handed over documents of their family members last whereabouts and information to Channel 4’s Jonathan Snow who was mobbed by the demonstrators in Jaffna during Cameron’s visit. Sources said that the two women were being harassed on suspicion of having been informants for the British Broadcaster.
Video of demonstration at Nallur Kovil Jaffna prior to Cameron’s arrival in the North shows Jayakumari and her daughter are in the first row of protestors. Click here to watch the video.