Nov 20, 2017

‘Awa’ activities during ‘Heroes Commemoration’ raises suspicion

The senior politicians of the North have expressed suspicion that the ‘Awa’ gang raising its head during the ‘Mahaviru’ heroes’ commemoration period, could be an attempt to suppress the Northern people.

The government claims that six persons suspected to be involved with eight sword attacks in the North have been arrested during the past two days, while police protection has been beefed up in Jaffna and search operations are also being conducted.

The crimes that had subsided had suddenly increased and with it the deployment of armed police security had increased which raises suspicion that this could be targeting the heroes ‘celebrations, Northern Provincial Council Chairman C.V.K. Sivagnanam told media personnel in Jaffna.

Sagala’s statement:

Meanwhile Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake had instructed the leave of all police officers in the Jaffna division be cancelled, while issuing a statement that the recent attacks were carried out by the ‘Awa’ gang.

However, the NPC Chairman said there could be some conspiracy over the rise of Awa activities while the police had claimed earlier that they had been contained. He said the attention of the authorities should be focussed on this matter and an investigation should be launched.

“Just as measures should be taken against crimes, it is also the responsibility of the authorities to look into whether this is an attempt to instil fear in the Tamil people in order to disrupt their heroes celebration activities,” Sivagnanam said.

It was the same last year:

Last year too when the Tamil people were preparing to celebrate the heroes’ commemoration ceremony, the ‘Awa’ sword gang raised its head and Minister Rajitha Senaratne said it was happening with the knowledge of the former Defence Secretary with the mediation of the security forces. However, the State Defence Minister refuted this allegation claiming that it was not terrorism and the security forces had no connection to these incidents.

At the time Minister Sagala Ratnayake avoided mentioning who was behind the Awa gang but this year, he has said the Awa gang will not be allowed to raise its head in any way.

According to Jaffna correspondents, armed police personnel have been extensively deployed in Jaffna and they are specially engaged in searching those travelling on motorcycles.