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Sri Lanka police arrest Jaffna Mayor utilizing anti-terrorism regulation

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Police say Manivannan is selling the LTTE’s ideology, within the selection of uniforms for an setting activity drive of the native municipal council

Sri Lanka police’s Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) on Friday arrested the Mayor of Jaffna for allegedly selling the LTTE’s ideology, within the selection of uniforms for an setting activity drive of the native municipal council. The transfer has drawn extensive condemnation, incuding from the nation’s Tamil polity and civil society.

In the early hours of Friday, police arrested the Jaffna Mayor Viswalingam Manivannan, in reference to the municipal physique assigning mild blue colored uniforms to a newly arrange staff tasked with monitoring environmental violations. Police likened their uniform to that worn by the “police force” run by the LTTE in areas that the insurgent outfit managed in the course of the civil warfare.

Police spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana stated “promoting” symbols related to the LTTE, together with uniforms, was an offence below Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), a regulation that activists deem draconian, and have been campaigning to repeal. Last month the federal government expanded the ambit of the PTA, permitting the detention of anybody suspected of inflicting “acts of violence or religious, racial or communal disharmony”.

The mayor might be detained by the TID and charged below the PTA, with the TID and the Jaffna police finishing up additional investigations, Mr. Rohana advised media.

The Mayor’s detention triggered robust, crucial reactions from inside and outdoors Sri Lanka on social media. “We condemn the unjustifiable arrest of the Mayor of Jaffna Viswalingam Manivannan by the TID purportedly in connection with “the revival of the LTTE.” Most ludicrous declare, provided that he solely authorised a uniform that’s similar to the Traffic Wardens of the Colombo MC,” the Tamil National Alliance stated in a tweet, pointing to regulation enforcement authorities’ obvious double requirements.

The Tamil National People’s Front stated it “unreservedly condemns” the arrest of Mr. Manivannan by the TID and known as for his rapid launch. “The severe racial and political insecurities of this regime have reached such heights that a steady path towards fascism is inevitable,” its leaders and Jaffna district parliamentarian G.G. Ponnambalam stated. Jaffna legislator and former Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council C.V. Wigneswaran, stated the arrest was primarily based on “racism and fascism”.

Writing on the event, political commentator and former diplomat Dayan Jayatilleke, a senior adviser to the Leader of Opposition, stated “Myanmarisation may be underway” in Sri Lanka. “The arrest of the Jaffna Mayor over a non-violent alleged offense, actually a procedural or regulatory one if at all, gives the signal that there will be no autonomous space for the minorities even at the level of the smallest unit, namely the municipality, let alone the province,” he stated.

Colombo-based NGO Centre for Policy Alternatives stated it was “deeply troubling” to see the federal government resort to prison laws such because the PTA, as a way to stamp its authority over decentralised authorities entities and to detain an elected official on “tenuous grounds”. It additional pointed to “deeply problematic” use of PTA over a long time to detain people for extended intervals of time with out cost and with restricted due course of safeguards.

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