Hindu priest denied access to new library

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Soldiers guarding a checkpoint near the venue of the opening ceremony of the temporary Jaffna Library this morning harassed a Hindu priest and political activists, said Jaffna sources.

The priest, a Brahmin by the name of Balakrishna Sharma was asked to remove his headgear to pass the checkpoint. When he refused, he was turned back.

In another incident at the same checkpoint, members of the Eelam Peoples' Democratic Party (EPDP) who are campaigning for the forthcoming local government elections in the north were denied entry.

However, the prompt intervention of EPDP chief Douglas Devanada, ensured the passage of his cadres through the checkpoint.

These stringent security measures were put in place by the army for the visit of Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Education Minister Richard Pathirana of the Sri Lanka Government to Jaffna for the opening of the temporary Jaffna Library this morning.

Residents around the Kandy Road and the Jaffna Kachcheri in the heart of the town complained of harassment last night when security forces meticulously and repeatedly searched the houses in the area prior to today's event.

 

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