In light of the identification of former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam cadres as being involved in several attacks on personnel attached to law enforcement agencies, counselors with experience of working with former combatants blamed shortcomings in the post-rehabilitation follow up process as having contributed to the said incidents occurring.
One of this year’s awardees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, educator and psychological counselor Gethsie Shanmugam who has also worked with child soldiers said that an account of what ex-combatants were doing following post-rehabilitation entry into society should be maintained, adding that how they managed in life should also be looked into.
Recently, two Policemen attached to the Kopay Police station were hospitalized at the Teaching Hospital in Jaffna with multiple serious injuries with one constable having to undergo a surgery following an assault by a sword wielding group on four motorcycles who had attacked them with sharp objects used as weapons and clubs.
The Policemen were in the Kondavil area investigating a complaint. The Inspector General of Police informed that the main suspect who had led the attack was not only a former Tiger but also a member of the Aava gang.
While six other suspects have also been identified in relation to the incident, two have already been arrested by the Jaffna Police and Kopay Police respectively. They have been identified as 20-year-old Thivarasa Madushan alias Madu, a resident of Nallur and 23-year-old Vijayaratnam Sivaraj, a resident of Manipay.
Jaffna Police arrested two 18-year-olds,Yogarasa Sages alias Muththu, a resident of Nallur Road and Arul Shilan Patrick Dinesh, a resident of central Kopay, from Kokkuvil.
Prior to this incident, five suspects, residents of Karaweddi and Warani, between the ages of 20 and 37, were arrested and taken into custody by the Point Pedro Police with four cleaver knives along with a motorcycle and a double cab in their possession.
They were arrested in connection with the assault of a group of Naval coast guards attached to the Point Pedro Naval branch while at a Navy coast guard post and an attack on a police station checkpoint at a junction in Point Pedro, thereby causing damage to the latter.
The said suspects were arrested while they were felling trees in a mangrove forest, thereby clearing it and removing mangroves in the Warani lagoon, in the reserved area in Kudaththane, Manalkadu.
“They were not followed up on properly or the follow up was not strong enough. They cannot just be let loose after rehabilitation,” she further explained.
Most recently this week, according to the Chunnakam Police, two other young persons had been hacked while on the Kankesanthurai road by those who had arrived on a motorbike. The duo has since been hospitalized.