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Police disrupts Kittu death anniversary in Mannar, Pesalai

[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 January 2005, 16:11 GMT]
At least 15 civilians were injured in Mannar when the Police opened fire in air and assaulted several Tamil people when they attempted to hoist Thamileelam flag in the Pesalai town Sunday morning in preparation to hold a commemoration meeting to mark the 12th death anniversary of Colonel Kittu, senior commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and nine other LTTE cadres. Tension prevailed in Pesalai town and transport services came to halt, sources said.

Large number of Tamils were assembled in Pesalai town to observe Colonel Kittu death anniversary. The Police at the site ordered the organizers not to hoist the Thamileelam National Flag. Thereafter Policemen started to assault Tamil civilians gathered at the venue. The Police then fired tear gas canisters and opened fire in the air to disperse the crowd, sources said

The Police destroyed the temporary shelter where the photograph of Colonel Kittu was kept for people to pay homage.

Meanwhile Police refused permission to hold Colonel Kittu death anniversary remembrance meeting in Mannar bus stand Sunday around noon. Police stopped a group of Tamils when they attempted to hoist LTTE flag and to conduct the remembrance meeting in defiance of the Police instruction. Riot Squad of the Police was deployed in Mannar. Tension prevailed when the army and police said they would not allow the hoisting of LTTE flag in the government-controlled area.

LTTE's Political wing head for Mannar, Mr. Iniavan and Pesalai citizen committee lodged complaints with the Sri Lanka monitoring mission (SLMM). Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) unsuccessfully attempted to bring an amicable solution to the problem, sources said.

Later at a conference attended by the Mannar Bishop Rev.Rayappu Joseph, Vanni district parliamentarian Mr.Vino Noharathalingam, Mannar army commander Brigadier Sanath Fernando and Police Superintendent Mr.L.B.Tennekon, security forces agreed to allow Colonel Kittu death anniversary meeting at Mannar Public Play Ground instead of bus stand.

However when the organizers made arrangements to hold the event at public play ground a group of army soldiers arrived at the site and ordered that hoisting of LTTE flag would not be allowed even at the playground. However the matter was not settled till evening, sources said.

 

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