Colombo traders shut down in protest against ransom demands

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 March 2007, 11:07 GMT]
"Members of the Karuna group, in collaboration with the police, demand ransom from us and though we have complained to the police along with phone numbers as evidence, no action has been taken," said Pettah and Fort traders in Colombo, taking part in the protest shutdown of their shops Friday, against the demands and death threats. All shops in Fort and Pettah were closed, and Kotahena police blocked traders from demonstrating in front of the police station, media sources in Colombo said.

Colombo traders protest

Many businessmen have paid the ransom demanded to secret bank accounts under death threats, the traders said.

The account number of a bank in Singapore was given to deposit the money, some affected traders said.

Business activities ground to a halt in the busy area of Fort and Pettah as all shops remained closed in sympathy with the protests.

Traders' Union representatives sent an appeal to Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse Friday to help stop ransom demands.


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