Businesses close as Jaffna Tamils leave Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 March 2004, 11:01 GMT]
Businesses belonging to Tamils from Jaffna remain closed in Batticaloa, Chenkalady, Kaluwanchikudi, Pandiriuppu and Kalmunai areas as the owners left the area on the orders of renegade commander Karuna said sources in Batticaloa.
About 5000 members of Jaffna Tamil families have left Batticaloa to Colombo, Vavuniya and Jaffna Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, civil sources in Batticaloa said.
Belongings of many of these families were reported confiscated by Karuna cadres.
Clothing factory in Kalliyankadu, Batticaloa also remains closed.
Some Jaffna Traders have made complaints to Batticaloa police that they were leaving the area as they were threatened with death by cadres belonging to Karuna group, police sources said.
Mr. Tharmaratnam, a Jaffna businessman with a shop in Pandiruppu was abducted with all the stock from his shop in a lorry, and was threatened with death before being left free. He and his family left the area Wednesday morning, according to residents of Pandiruppu.
Most of Tamil shops and houses have been looted in Batticaloa town and Chenkaladi, according to sources. Only business establishments of Muslims are seen opened in Batticaloa town Wednesday, sources said.
Police sources said that there is fear and tension in the area following these incidents.