"Cordon and search operations by security forces and mass arrests
resumed in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo in late June. Colombo’s
Kochchikade suburb was searched on the night of 23 June. The
following day, Dehiwela was targeted. In a major operation on 28
June in Wellawatte, Dehiwela, Mt Lavinia, Ratmalana and Moratuwa,
Tamil houses, shops and vehicle were searched. The police have also
set up 14 checkpoints.
According to Inspector General of Police (IGP) TE Anantharajah,
over 500 Tamils were taken into custody. Police reports say most
people were released within 24 hours, but 18 were detained. Tamil
houses, shops and lodges in Piliyandala were searched on 29 June and
22 Tamils were held. On 1 July, 27 Tamils in the Colombo suburbs of
Ginthupitiya and Fort were taken into custody. Two days later, 34
Tamils were arrested in various parts of the capital.
Addressing a press conference in early July, Defence Minister
Tilak Marapane said that the arrests are taking place under normal
law and not the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). He sought to
assure that the Tamils need not fear. But the Tamil National
Alliance (TNA) has condemned the targeting of Tamils as a violation
of human rights.
Parliamentary opposition parties held a demonstration in Colombo
on 4 June against the killing of Southern Provincial Council
minister R Ranjit in May. Police have arrested three suspects. On 16
June, People’s Alliance member and Western Provincial Council
advisor Sunil Mendis was shot dead in Kandana. Former WPC United
National Party (UNP) organiser Edward Silva has been arrested in
connection with the murder..."