Muted public response to killing

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
While political parties and civic organisations in Colombo issued strident statements of condemnation of the assassination of Jaffna Mayor, Sarojini Yogeswaran, there was muted public reaction to the killing in Jaffna, said sources in Jaffna.

Meanwhile, a Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) source in Colombo, who did not wish to be named, said that though a final decision is yet to be taken on who is to succeed Ms. Yogeswaran, it was unlikely there would be any takers.

Tamil groups, especially the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), were seen moving around town yesterday evening putting up black flags and other symbols of mourning.

Their vehicles also chanted slogans over the public address system such as, "Death is not the end of existence" and "Losses are nothing new to us," said sources.

However, the response of the public has been very guarded, said sources in Jaffna.

Sources attributed the public's reticence to both fear as well as a tacit acknowledgment of the assassination as an inevitable result of trying to prop up a show of democracy and normalcy when the real problems of the Jaffna population had not been addressed.

Meanwhile there was intense checking in Jaffna town by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), but no arrests have yet been made.

An inquiry was held yesterday before K. Kesavan, acting District Judge, Jaffna, where three persons present at the scene of the assassination gave evidence.

They were K. Poolokaratnam (46), Secretary to the Mayor, P. Jeyaratnam (50), a lady who was at the Mayor's house when the assassination took place and V. Kamala (32), a domestic.

Mr. Kesavan postponed hearings till May 25, because Mr. Paramasivam, member of the Jaffna Municipal Council, who was shot in the leg during the shoot-out, is still recovering in hospital and his evidence was crucial to piece together the events which took place Sunday morning.

An organisation calling itself 'Sangiliyan Force', through a note handed over around 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evening at the offices of the Jaffna daily Uthayan, claimed the assassination.

 

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