Detentions at Valaichenai sports meet

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Several male spectators at the school sports meet of VivekananthaViththiyalayam at Kalmadu, near Valaichenai, 32 km north of Batticaloa, were detained by the Sri LankaArmy after a cordon andsearch operation at the school around 10.30 a.m. yesterday, said sourcesin Valaichenai.

The SLA troops, who swooped on the playing field while the sports meet was going on, rounded up all males present, numbering around 100, and took them to another location nearby, where they were forced to squat under the burning sun until the process of verifying whether they were Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supporters or members was completed.



An unspecified number of people were detained. No further details are available.

The previous day, a fire fight had erupted between the LTTE and the SLA in the nearby village of Puthukudiyiruppu.

The confrontation had occurred when the SLA, on receiving information that banners had been put up in Puthukudiyirrpu to commemorate Annai Poopathy week, went to the village to remove the decorations, and had subsequently come under LTTE fire.

Two civilians, S Thiyagarajah (42) and T Ponnuthurai (44), were wounded in the SLA's retaliatory fire said sources in Valaichenai. Thiyagarajah died at the Batticaloa Hospital later.

Annai Poopathy fasted to death against the atrocities of the Indian Army in Batticaloa on April 19 1988. The day is marked by a week long series of cultural arrangements in Tamil areas of the island.

 

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