Sri Lanka probes military links to violence
SRI Lanka is investigating whether the army was involved in a recent wave of violence in the minority Tamil heartland of Jaffna, a minister said yesterday.
Junior defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene said a soldier was among those arrested by police in connection with the latest violence in Jaffna, the epicentre of the country’s long separatist war which ended in 2009.
Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said 38 men had been arrested, including a soldier attached to the electrical and engineering unit of the army.
The army replaced its intelligence chief two weeks ago after the government accused the military of backing a Tamil gang terrorising civilians in Jaffna.
Mr Wijewardene said the military was not directly involved with the group, but did not rule out the possibility of rogue elements.
Last month’s fatal police shooting of two Tamil students in Jaffna have raised tensions in the north, where residents suffered years of harassment from the Sinhalese-dominated military. –