Jaffna shuts down in protest against SLA shooting
[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 December 2003, 04:56 GMT]
Shops, businesses, public offices were closed and few people and vehicles were on the roads in Jaffna Thursday in response to a call to observe a general shut down (Hartal) in the peninsula against the Sri Lanka army for shooting at a newspaper seller and wounding a commuter on Tuesday in the busy centre of the northern town.
The general shut down was called by the Federation of People’s Organisations in Jaffna.
A Sri Lankan Police patrol in the deserted centre of Jaffna town Thursday
A spokesperson for the Federation condemned reports in Colombo that the teenaged newspaper seller had attempted to lob a grenade at the SLA sentry near the main bus station in Jaffna town.
“It is a very malicious fabrication. We deplore that even certain sections of the media reported this pernicious lie without verifying the facts here. This is what they regularly did in the past to cover up a lot of atrocities that were perpetrated by the Sri Lankan armed forces on the Tamil people”, he said.
A limited bus service provided transport to students sitting the G. C. E (O. L) exam. Neither private buses nor auto-rickshaws plied the roads.
Sri Lankan armed forces vehicles too were few, residents said.
The desterted Jaffna main bus station on Thursday