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[TamilNet, Friday, 17 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Muslim policemen refuse to accept Vanni postings and the Sri Lankan foreign ministry visits Jaffna.

Muslim police refuse war duty

Fifty Muslim policemen transferred to the Vanni from Batticaloa, to hold areas captured by the Sri Lankan army refused to accept their transfer and handed in their weapons to their superior officers.

The government recently ordered a hundred policemen belonging to five platoons in Valaichenai, Eravur and Batticaloa in the east to report to the Vanni.

Other policemen met Mr. Alisahir Moulana, the UNP MP for Batticaloa, to complain about the transfer.

Dogged by desertions and heavy casualties sustained in combat against the Liberation Tigers, the Sri Lankan Army has been relying on police, naval and air force personnel to bolster defences in the Vanni.

Following major counter attacks in the Vanni by the Liberation Tigers in June and July, several hundred Sinhala policemen quite en masse, deserting their posts in the Vanni.


Sri Lankan foreign ministry visits Jaffna

A team from the Sri Lankan foreign ministry flew to Jaffna this afternoon to assess the situation for themselves.

The team was led by Mr. Nihal Rodrigo the highest official in the Sri Lankan government's foreign ministry. The visit is described as crucial.

The Sri Lankan foreign ministry has been coming under pressure from some western governments due to the deteriorating human rights situation in Jaffna.

The team is also believed to be looking at the general security situation in the area which has been unsettled by a large number of violent incidents.

 

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