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Shocking murders of Tamil women

In brief

Tamil women picking tea at Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Tamil women picking tea at Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan communities are being terrorised by a wave of horrific assaults on Tamil and Muslim women.

Independent obser­vers have confirmed that armed men – so-called “grease devils” – are killing women across the country and draining their blood. The government in Colombo has failed to detain the murderers and is even suspected by some of masterminding the attacks. In some places, men have therefore armed themselves to be able to protect their women. All victims are Tamils and Muslims; the communities affected accuse the police of standing by and allowing the atrocities to happen.

In the middle of August, two culprits caught by local residents were released by the police, as D+C/E+Z was told by a German reporter. Next came violence in the eastern town of Pothuvil, during which one soldier was killed and several more were injured. Bloodshed has also been reported from Ottamavadi and Kotagala, a small village deep in the heart of the country. At the naval port of Kinniya, a police jeep was set ablaze by
an angry mob.

By late August, Sri Lanka’s government had not reacted to UN demands for the investigation of war crimes in the brutal civil war that came to violent end two-and-a-half years ago. The UN’s Darusman Report has so far not triggered any official response from Colombo. In August, the Swiss-based Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) lodged a criminal complaint against Sri Lanka’s Vice-Ambassador Jagath Dias. The advocacy group wants the diplomat, who is accredited in both Germany and Switzerland, to stand trial for war crimes committed when he was a major general in the Sri Lankan Army. A Tamil translation of the 240-page UN report was published on 2 August. (ph)