Troops assault journalist, scores injured in Jaffna clashes
[TamilNet, Friday, 04 March 2005, 12:09 GMT]
Sri Lanka army troops Friday severely assaulted a journalist working for the state run Lake House Newspapers as restive crowds in the northern town set fire to six military points and smashed up President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) office. One person was injured when army opened fire on a crowd at Kottadi. Scores of students and civilians were asaulted by SLA troops and riot Police in several parts of the town. Four persons injured in army and Police assault and firing were admitted to Jaffna hospital Friday afternoon.
All roads leading to Jaffna were blocked by rioters with burning tires and logs. The northern town was deserted. Hundreds of SLA troops and riot Police patrolled its empty streets.
Mr. Vincent L Jeyan, the Lake House journalist who was assaulted and injured by the military was also admitted to Jaffna Hospital for treatment. Several computers at an internet café where he sought refuge were smashed by soldiers who pursued him for taking photos of the fracas in Jaffna town.
The motorbike of Mr. Ratnam Thayaparan, Jaffna correspondent for the Tamil daily Thinakkural was damaged by troops.
Police and military arrested ten civilians in several parts of the town, sources said. Soldiers who assaulted civilians and students in Thinnevely attacked the main office of the International Federation of Thamil Eelam Students at the Parameswara Junction.
The man who was shot dead by troops near Jaffna University was identified as Mr. M. Kathirgamu, 65.
A SLA checkpost burnt by angered protestors