Former Sri Lankan brigadier responsible for Northern ‘Ava’ gang: Rajitha

Nov 02, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Co-cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne on Wednesday accused a former brigadier for literally forming the ‘Ava’ violent gang during the war.

Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake told Parliament recently that the Police had implemented programmes to stop a crime wave in Jaffna created by this group that commits robbery, looting, killing, causing injuries to the people with weapons like swords and axes since 2014.

Senaratne however said the ‘Ava’ gang had been operating in the Northern Province even during the war with the former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s assent.

“Under the previous regime, a brigadier formed this group giving them money, arms and all the other facilities,” Senaratne said.

“This a gang formed with the assent of Gotabaya and those are the people who protected this group even giving them motor bikes.”

Crimes of this gang had scared the people in areas like Jaffna, Chunnakam, Mullativue, Kilinochchi, Mannar and Kopai.

“Same people who created this situation are still acting in the same way; so we are taking strict action to stop this,” Senaratne added.

As per the law and order minister the first three of the Ava group were arrested on January 06, 2014 and based on their statement, another 17 were arrested.

Another five were arrested on May 8 with explosives and weapons. The group of persons had hacked a person to death at Mannipai on August 18, minister Ratnayake said.