Jaffna celebrates Heroes Day amid SLA harassment
[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 November 2003, 14:25 GMT]
Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army Saturday continued their interference with Tamil civilians who have been erecting arches, festoons and other decorations in Jaffna district in connection with the Great Heroes Day celebrations, civil sources said.
A group of soldiers Saturday morning ordered the students and civilians to remove the decorations put up at the entrance of the Jaffna Hindu College. Army soldiers had threatened the civilians that they would forcibly remove the structures with the assistance of police if they failed to obey their instruction, sources said.
A group of army officials who happened to visit the site Saturday evening around 6 p.m. had ordered the students to remove the cutout depicting the Thamileelam map and the photograph of a LTTE cadre with arms. When the students gathered at the site refused to carry out their instruction, SLA officials had reported the matter to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Jaffna. The SLMM officials rushed to the scene and conferred with the SLA officials. Thereafter they left the scene.
Later, SLMM requested the students to consider removing the posters to bring a peaceful environment in the area, sources said.
Meanwhile the police Friday night stopped people erecting arches and other decorations at the Parameswara junction on Jaffna-Palaly road. With the intervention of the SLMM the tension prevailed in the area had been defused, sources said.
Despite interference by army soldiers and police people and other civil societies in the Vadamarachchi north coastal belt Friday night decorated roads in their areas, sources said