Military curfew renders Jaffna streets bare

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 May 2006, 06:06 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army imposed curfew has rendered Jaffna a dead city with the hospital staff remaining inside the hospital and a few civilians caught unaware of the curfew going out into the Jaffna streets Monday early morning are detained at SLA check points. Fishermen, who went to sea before the curfew, returning Monday dawn from their night's fishing in the waters around the Jaffna peninsula, were being subjected to harassment by the SLA troopers for "disobeying" the curfew imposed.

All entry points to LTTE controlled areas remain closed. The entry points in Mannar and Vavuniya were also closed by the Sri Lanka Army.

Tensions ride high as the bodies of the civilians allegedly killed by the SLA soldiers at the Thenmaradchi temple Saturday night were spotted by residents at an isolated area, among the shrub jungles in Kapputhu area, located in Vadamaradchi, bordering Thenmaradchi and Valikamam.

Meanwhile, no media-person is allowed to the Kapputhu area and the killings remain "unofficial" and the district judge is yet to be approached by the Sri Lankan police

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers confronted a clandestine attack group that attempted to fix a Claymore mine at 3:25 a.m on the Jaffna - Point Pedro Road between Malu Junction and Manthikai and another confrontation at Kaithady in Thenmaradchi around 7.00 a.m Monday followed by gunfight, alleged SLA sources.

Shots being fired were heard for 10 minutes in Vadamradchy and in Thenmaradchy for 30 minutes, though no causalities were reported, added the sources.

Tamil activist organisations had called for a protest aiming to cripple the Sri Lankan state run administration starting from Monday in Jaffna following the increasing number of arbitrary killings in Jaffna district.

More than 40 000 Sri Lankan troopers are stationed in Jaffna district with a population of 597 000.

Jaffna district, 1023.22 sq km including inland waters, is geographically divided into four areas, Theevakam (Islands) in the west of Jaffna town, Valikamam in north, Thenmaradchi in southeast, and Vadamaradchi in northeast.

Liberation Tigers Political Head of Jaffna district, C. Ilamparithy, in a meeting with the Head of the Scandinavian truce monitors Brig. Ulf Henriccson, pointed out that the area demarcated High Security Zone by the Sri Lanka Army in Jaffna district comprised of 25.27% of the total area of Jaffna peninsula. Another 34%, outside the HSZ, is also occupied by the SLA.

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