Following on from last week’s Commonwealth Summit we were concerned that there might be reprisals against those who had been brave enough to speak out. We have now seen worrying signs that this might be happening. We received this report from Mannar today, the report’s authors asked us to make it public to show the Sri Lankan Government that the world is watching.
The House of Sunesh, in Mannar, a full time member of NAFSO and an activist against disappearances, was visited by people claiming to be CID at 0130am today.
Sunesh received a call at 0130, asking to come out from the house, in a rude manner. He was not at home but he pretended that he was there.They were banging on the door.
When Sunesh asked who they were, one said ” Rishwarn”. He was speaking in Tamil and had a Sinhala accent.
They said “you went with Fr. Sebamalei, Fr. Neru, and Sahayam campaigning against the Government, recently in Jaffna.We should have abducted you at the first time (there was another visit some time ago). Do you want to be alive? Do you want any harm on your family?“
Then Sunesh said he would inform the Bishop and other priests about this harassment and they said they are not afraid of anyone.
They were there banging on the door for about half an hour. Sunesh’s wife and the children were the only other people there.
Sunesh was in the forefront in the campaigns against disappearances and on the rights of fishermen, land grabbing and IDP Issues. He was also in the front of the recent campaign held in Jaffna with the family members of the disappeared when the British Prime Minister and New Zealand Foreign Minister visited Jaffna.
During that demonstration three people who was there in civilian attire (suspected to be CID) were heard saying pointing at Sunesh, “that bugger is too much. We must do something.”