Reduced curfew hours bring little succor to Jaffna residents

[TamilNet, Monday, 18 December 2006, 20:09 GMT]
The reduction in curfew hours announced by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) for Jaffna district brings little relief to the residents cut-off from rest of Sri Lanka, living with severe shortage of food and basic essentials, and gripped with fear of abduction by SLA and paramilitaries as part of the counter-insurgency campaign unleashed by Colombo, civil society sources from Jaffna said.

SLA has issued directives that curfew hours will be limited to 11:00 p.m to 4:00 a.m. from Monday.

Peninsula residents are unlikely to venture out of their homes after 6:00 p.m, for fear of being attacked, their identity cards confiscated, and their motor cycles taken away by SLA troopers manning the numerous sentry posts along the roads in the peninsula, civil society leaders. White van abductions also have been escalating in the peninsula in the last three months.

The announcement is another deceptive act of the SLA to create an impression to the outside world that normalcy is returning to Jaffna peninsula, residents said.

The SLA clamped a 24 hours curfew on the peninsula when clashes erupted between it and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on August 11. This was later changed to 6:00 p.m to 6:00 a.m first and later limited to 8:00 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Both private and government establishments too closed early in the evenings so that their employees and staff could be home before 6:00 p.m.


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