Arrest over leaflet stops work in harbour
[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 October 2003, 16:32 GMT]
Ship unloading at the Pt. Pedro Jetty in Jaffna stopped when workers walked out of the harbour in protest over the detention of two of their colleagues by the Sri Lanka army Sunday morning. Sri Lankan military in Pt. Pedro said the two had brought into the harbour leaflets to mark the sixteenth death anniversary of twelve Liberation Tigers, including two senior commanders, who committed suicide in SLA custody in Palaly, refusing to be flown to Colombo for interrogation and detention in October 1987.
Workers denied the charge, saying that their arrested colleagues were reading a leaflet that they picked up in the harbour while walking towards the jetty. They said that soldiers who saw the leaflet rouged up and detained the two workers, Mr. Jesu Patty Rajkumar, 19 and Nadarajah Jeyakanthan, 18 – both residents of Supparmadam, a coastal neighbourhood by the Pt. Pedro Jetty.
Their colleagues in the harbour who saw the arrest attempted to walk out in protest. But the SLA let only sixty leave the garrisoned jetty. Thirty were detained inside.
The workers who came out informed the Tamil National MP for the area, Mr. Sivajilingam about the arrest of the two and the SLA refusal to let the thirty workers leave the harbour zone.
The latter was allowed to go after the MP met the military later on Sunday morning.
The SLA handed over the two arrested workers to the Pt. Pedro Police around noon for further detention.
Meanwhile, in Nelliyadi, a town southwest of Pt. Pedro, residents said that SLA soldiers tore up posters put up Saturday night to commemorate the 12 Tigers.