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SLA, Police tear gas assault protestors in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 November 2004, 06:13 GMT]
Tension prevailed near Kodikamam town in Jaffna Sunday morning as military and Police fired tear gas and assaulted civilians protesting against an accident on the A9 highway in which a Sri Lanka army vehicle knocked down and killed a young Hindu priest. Hundreds of protesting civilians in the area blocked the highway and set fire to the Sri Lanka army vehicle and two military motorbikes. Two journalists who were covering the incident were also assaulted by Police and SLA troopers.
The SLA vehicle, a bowser, was speeding on the road by Ramar temple near Kodikamam town when it hit the priest who was killed at the spot, residents said.
His body was lying at the scene of the accident amidst the protest, sources said. The priest was identified as Varatharaja Kurukkal Harihara Sarma, 24, of Kalviyankadu near Jaffna.
Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission representatives and Tamil National Alliance MPs Mr. Selvarajah Gajendran and Mr. Nadarajah Raviraj visited the area as news of the protest spread in Jaffna Sunday.
The assaulted reporters were from Eelanatham and Eelanaadu.