Trinco hartal over massacre

[TamilNet, Friday, 27 October 2000, 08:29 GMT]
A hartal is being observed in the eastern town of Trincomalee Friday, condemning the massacre Wednesday of Tamil detainees at Bindunuwewa detention centre and the slaying last week of Jaffna based reporter Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, allegedly by pro-government militiamen.

Several Tamil organisations have organized this one-day hartal, sources said. Black flags have been hoisted on most houses and business establishments, as a sign of mourning.

Shops belonging to all ethnic communities have been closed down. Bus services to outstations have been suspended. All activities in Trincomalee town have come to a standstill, TamilNet correspondents said.

At least twenty nine Tamil detainees were killed and 40 others seriously injured when hundreds of Sinhala villagers stormed the centre Wednesday morning. Twenty others are said to be missing, according to police sources. The government says being held had been suspected of links to the Liberation Tigers or were former child soldiers of the organization. However the LTTE has denied the victims were members of the organization, and said they were political prisoners.

Meanwhile the Trincomalee District Media Association is taking steps to hold a meeting in memory of Jaffna based journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan who was killed last week allegedly by gunmen of the paramilitary Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), which operates alongside the Sri Lankan security forces in operations against the Liberation Tigers.

Nimalarajan, who had written articles critical of the dubious practices of the EPDP during this month’s elections, had reportedly been visited and threatened by party cadres the day before his killing, sources said. The EPDP secured 4 seats on the October 10 polls, but election monitors and other candidates accuse it of ballot box stuffing and voter intimidation.


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