Protest shuts Trincomalee down

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 September 1998, 23:15 GMT]
The Hartal called by the Trincomalee Urban Council(UC) today to mark the intervention by the Sri Lankan security forces and Sinhala officials one year ago to stop the opening of the council's new market was a complete success said sources in the eastern port town this afternoon.

Most shops and businesses remained closed and there were few people on the roads. The five cinema halls of the town were also closed. The Sinhala dominated old market which bustles with shoppers on Sundays had very few people this morning, hurriedly looking for essentials. All the meat stalls were closed as the local slaughter houses did not operate last evening. Bread was not available in Trincomalee town today as all its bakeries were closed.

Trincomalee UC chairman Periyapody Suriyamoorthy said that the people of Trincomalee have shown that they are on the side of justice by fully supporting the Hartal and that this has clearly shown the country that they support the UC's stand on the new market. He said that the concerned authorities should realise this truth.

Suriyamoorthy was seen this morning going about the town dressed in black (as a mark of protest) observing the situation.

The Police beefed up security in the town for the Hartal. But no incidents were reported until this afternoon.

"We want to categorically register our strong objection to the high handed manner in which the Sinhala chauvinist officialdom has connived with the Sinhala traders and thugs of the old market to obstruct the opening of the UC's new market" said a shop owner in the town who had answered the UC's call for a complete hartal today.

The Trincomalee new market was built by the UC at the cost of six million SL rupees after the army and senior Sinhala government officials backed and supported the efforts of the Sinhala thugs of the old market to stop a Tamil who had successfully bid for the collection of rents there and harassment of Tamil businesses which ensued.

The army and the top Sinhala government officials of the Trincomalee district backed the illegal claims of the former Sinhala renter. On September 13 last year, the Police and senior Sinhala government officials interrupted the inaugural ceremonies of the new market and declared the place closed until further notice.

The administration of the Trincomalee UC, all the Tamil parties and community leaders and the island's Tamil press charge that this was done in the interests of the Sinhala thugs and traders who dominate the old market now.

Related Articles:
06.09.98   Contention over Trincomalee market
10.05.98   Trinco UC's deadline ignored
03.05.98   Protest prompts police guard
30.04.98   Trinco Urban Council exasperated


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