Yet another Tamil Man Assaulted by Sri Lankan Military Officers

Yet another Tamil Man Assaulted by Sri Lankan Military Officers
Photo: Human Rights Watch, 2018


Sarah Thanawala

Sri Lanka and Human Rights Researcher, 

Global Human Rights Defence.

On 24 January 2022, intoxicated Sri Lankan military officials assaulted a Tamil driver in Mullaitivu (Tamil Guardian, 2022). The victim, Navaratnam Uthayaseelan, was driving his tipper vehicle in the Kaiveli area of Mullaitivu when certain military officials stopped him (Tamil Guardian, 2022). Uthayaseelan was interrogated about his vehicle by officers who were clearly under an inebriated state (Tamil Guardian, 2022). The officers followed the interrogation by physical assault where he was repeatedly hit with a palm stick wrapped in barbed wire, causing severe facial injuries (Tamil Guardian, 2022). Reportedly, family and friends of Uthayaseelan received threatening phone calls, coercing to withdraw a previously filed police complaint by Uthayaseelan (Tamil Guardian, 2022). 

The assault is one of the multiple instances of abuse of the minority communities by the Sri Lankan military (Tamil Guardian, 2021). Among the most recent ones, in November 2021, a Tamil journalist Viswaingham Viswachandran was brutally assaulted with barbed wires, and was admitted in a hospital on account of the serious injuries (Tamil Guardian, 2021). 

Besides highlighting the rampant physical assaults by the Sri Lankan police and military, the incidents also point toward the epidemic of impunity extended the officials that have perpetrated a multitude of violence against the vulnerable (Tamil Guardian, 2021). 

Sources and further reading:

Tamil Guardian (2021, November 28). Mullaitivu Press Club condemn brutal assault and torture of Tamil journalist. Tamil Guardian. 

Tamil Guardain (2022, January 25). Attacked with barbed wire by drunken Sri Lankan officers- another Tamil man hospitalised. Tamil Guardian.