Security beefed up as Trinco prepares for Vesak celebrations

[TamilNet, Sunday, 22 May 2005, 16:23 GMT]
The Trincomalee District Tamil Peoples' Forum (TDTPF) suspended the Hartal (General shutdown) as Trincomalee town Sunday struggled towards normalcy after tension-filled five days triggered by the erection of controversial Buddha statue. As Trincomalee residents await the final decision from Sri Lanka's President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge on the statue removal issue, the temporary normaly facilitates the Buddhists in the east port town to observe Vesak celebration Monday and Tuesday in a peaceful atmosphere, sources said.

Trinco towards normalcy

All shops were opened Sunday after 5 days shut down since Tuesday till Saturday. People were seen rushing to buy their provisions and in queues in front of fuel depots run by Trincomalee co-operative society to buy kerosene for domestic purposes and diesel and petrol for their vehicles Bus services resumed as usual, sources said

In the meantime the security of the town has been beefed up with additional one thousand policemen and troops deployed in all main and strategic junctions and installations on the instruction of the Defence Ministry, sources said.

Heads of three armed forces and the Inspector General of Police led by Major General Asoka Jayawardene, Defence Ministry Secretary Sunday afternoon met with the President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge and briefed her about the ground situation in Trincomalee and the discussion they had had with local religious and community leaders regarding the controversial Buddha statue issue, sources said.

Buddhist monks and representatives of Sinhala civil group, which was responsible for the erection of the controversial Buddha statue, boycotted the discussion held in the Trincomalee naval Headquarters Saturday morning.

Leaders of Tamil civil groups and TDTPF participated in the discussion presided by Major General Asoka Jayawardene. However the delegation led by Major General Asoka Jayawardene later on the same day met with a group of Buddhist priests at Jayasumanaramya Vihare in Trincomalee and obtained their views regarding the demand put forward by TDTPF to remove the Buddha statue.


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