KOTAGALA, Sri Lanka ~ (Reuters) ~ A “grease devil” has traditionally been a Sri Lankan greased up thief in his underwear to avoid being nabbed. Recently, however, the “grease devil” has become increasingly dangerous especially to Sri Lankan women.
According to an anonymous resident of the district of Matale, “The story we hear is he comes and bites young women’s necks and breasts. Despite several complaints, the police have failed to act on that and in fact in two places have released the culprits.”
Police fired tear gas into a group of protestors in the town of Potuvil. The mob demanded the release of four men who had caught and planned to lynch a supposed “grease devil.”
In addition, in the village of Kotagala two “grease devils” were hacked to death two days prior.
“There is no ‘grease devil’ as such. It is a human among us with an ulterior motive of stealing or to engage in some illegal activities,” said police spokesperson Prashantha Jayakody.
Jayakody also stated that some of these “grease devils” were people with mental disorders. “In one instance, a person was arrested wearing more than 20 (pairs of) women’s undergarments,” she stated.
Panic has beset rural Sri Lanka and caused women to stay home and men to guard their homes with clubs and sticks.
Beliefs about spirits and devils are common in Sri Lankan culture.
A photo has been broadcast on Sri Lankan State T.V. depicting a suspected “grease devil” carrying the message that the grease devil is not real.
Photo Credit: Lankan Journal