COLOMBO – The Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) on Monday (29) arrested two individuals in Jaffna, for allegedly promoting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) on the internet.
Police Spokesman, DIG Ajith Rohana, identified the two as a man aged 36 and a woman aged 35, and said they were taken into custody from an office located in Navalar Street, Jaffna. Five desktop computers and five laptops were also seized at the site, he said, adding that they couple were taken into TID custody for operating a YouTube channel and a website allegedly promoting the LTTE.
Rohana said a TID investigation had revealed that content uploaded by the couple, in both YouTube and the website, to be promoting LTTE ideology, and had included speeches by slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabharakan and banned LTTE iconography. He said the couple will be detained and questioned under provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), while the TID conducts further investigations.
Meanwhile, the government on Saturday (27) issued a gazette notification re-enlisting over 300 of individuals and several Tamil Diaspora organizations under the terrorist designation law, in a move described as cracking down on Tamil civil society and activists.
The organizations proscribed include Tamil advocacy groups such as the British Tamil Forum; the Canadian Tamil Congress; the Australian Tamil Congress; the Global Tamil Forum; the National Council of Canadian Tamils; the Tamil Youth Organization; and the World Tamil Coordinating Committee.
The list also includes a number of individuals currently residing in Sri Lanka such as political prisoner Dr. Sivaruban, the former Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) at Palai Hospital in Kilinochchi, who was arrested by the TID in 2019. Dr Sivaruban had provided medical reports linking the Sri Lankan Army with the so-called ‘grease devil’ attacks of 2011 as well as the murder and rape of a child by a member of the EPDP paramilitary group. Particular concerns have been raised about the listing of several Tamil youths whose dates of birth indicate they were children in 2009 when the LTTE were last active.