SLA shelling injures Kurunagar civilians

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Three civilians were wounded in Eechchamoddai, a Jaffna suburb near the coast, last night around 10.45 p.m. when the SLA shelled Kurunagar.

Two of the wounded were identified as Gnanendram Basil 44 and his son Basil Baheetharan 14. The roof their house was damaged in the shelling. The third person's injuries were minor said sources in the area.

The SLA rounded up the Jaffna's coastal suburb of Kurunagar this morning following the shelling and firing in the area during the night. The SLA arrested 13 persons for interrogation.

They were released later in the morning from the local army camp.

A delegation from the Kurunagar Fishermen's Committee met the local catholic parish priest Rev.Stanislaus this afternoon and told him that they are facing starvation because of the harsh treatment meted out on them by the SLA after clashes with the LTTE.

They pointed out that they fish only within the hours and areas stipulated by the SLA but yet they are punished by the SLA whenever the LTTE attacks the army. The fishermen's delegation said that the fight is between the LTTE and the SLA and they should be left alone.

Following this meeting with the Kurunagar Fishermen's Committee, the Parish priest took up the matter with the officer in charge of the local army camp. The SLA officer listened to the priest and told him that he will inform his senior officers about the matter.

Meanwhile, members of the PLOTE met the fishermen today following the round up and promised them that they will take up the matter with the Jaffna brigadier and will also launch public protests against the ill treatment of the Kurunagar people.

Informed sources in Jaffna town said that the SLA in the area is not happy with the assertiveness of the powerful Fishermen's Committee of Kurunagar which has the membership of more than two thousand families in the area and remains a tightly knit body.

They said this a reason for the army to react harshly on the people of Kurunagar whenever there is an LTTE attack in the area.

They said it did not appear that there was a confrontation between the army and the LTTE last night but that the army had fired into the lagoon, apparently to pre-empt a possible attack by the Tigers.


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