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Sri Lanka ups its dictatorial stance: A concise look at July 2012 timeline

Colombo, July 18 (): It has been three years since the blood bath came to an end in Sri Lanka. Still the country shows brutal signs of dictatorship in various forms right from harassment and attacks of Tamils, desecration of Hindu temples, abductions, threats to media persons and subduing media.

A concise look at the brutalities staged by the Sri Lankan forces in the country, this month of July, 2012 follows:

3rd July: A Sinhala soldier, while playing with his fellow army men went inside the Aathi Paraasakthi temple in Valveddiththurai to get the ball, with his shoes on. The Tamil priest politely told him wearing shoes inside the temple is an act of disrespect to the deity. The Sinhala soldier had brutally beaten up the priest who was rushed to Valveddiththurai hospital by the devotees of the temple. Additionally, the temple land is said to have been confiscated by the military. The Tamil Heroes Cemetery for Vadamaraadchi, situated near the temple had earlier been vandalized by the Sri Lankan Army.

7th July: Sinhala militarization of Mannar seriously affects the lives of people as both public and private lands are grabbed by Sri Lankan Army; Tamil civilians are refused resettlement in Channaar in Maanthai West, where the occupying Sri Lankan Army has confiscated 3,500 acres of lands.

Simon Denyer of Washington Post reports from Jaffna that “the military has even inserted itself into almost every aspect of economic life in the north of the country, farming and selling vegetables, running hotels, restaurants and even barber shops” and adds that the military runs a state of emergency in the Tamil homeland, with land grabs, routine harassment, restriction of the right to assembly and even forced interventions in public functions.

8th July: More reports of refugees fleeing to Australia fearing harassment by the tyrannical Sri Lankan military have spiked up in the recent past. Most of the asylum-seekers are said to be Eelam Tamils from North and East.

9th July : The Sri Lankan Navy harassed Tamil fishermen in Jaffna and Vanni, demanding for a valid ‘pass’ issued by it whereas the Sinhala fishermen are left free.

12th July: Sources in Colombo told Tamilnet that officers claiming to be from the Sri Lankan Defence department, but carrying Sri Lankan Police ID cards have been visiting select households whose members had recently come from North and East to suburbs of Colombo, demanding new registration of household members.

14th July:  Rishard Badurdeen, Sri Lankan minister of Industry & Commerce in Rajapaksa’s cabinet is assumed to have provoked ethnic violence in Mannar in an attempt to entice Muslim voters in favour of Rajapaksa’s ruling SLFP. A gun-wielding Muslim gang is said to have destroyed 23 fishing huts and two fiberglass boats, causing ethnic tension between Tami Catholics and Muslims.

15th July: Sri Lankan Army has grabbed more lands to construct a permanent military camp in Jaffna city.

16th July: Ruling SLFP men have issued death threats to two newspaper reporters in Mannar for their reporting on inciting violence at Koanthaippiddi jetty.