Attacks prompt Pettah traders to close shop

[TamilNet, Sunday, 27 February 2000, 07:41 GMT]
Pettah business establishments owned by importers of perishable goods were closed on Friday to protest against the 'quota' system on import of onions and potatoes, imposed by some businessmen with connections to underworld criminal gangs, sources in Colombo said.

pettah.jpg_25022000.jpgA few businessmen who have been profitting from the onion and potato business had allegedly used underworld criminal gangs to attack traders who violated the extra-legal 'quota system.' The gangs also attacked and caused extensive damage to traders' property.

The underworld criminal gangs had connections to influential politicians, the affected traders said.

98% of the traders affected by the gangs were tamils, sources said.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was ordered to conduct investigations when the issue was raised in the Parliament.

Distribution of onions and potatoes to several regions of the island was impacted due to the shutdown, sources said.

 

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