SLA soldiers harass devotees at Jaffna checkpoints
[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 August 2005, 09:01 GMT]
Jaffna residents attending to celebrate "aadi amavasai" festival at the Keerimalai Naguleswarar temple and at Keerimalai seas were subjected to severe checking and harassment at the Tellipalai and Senthankulam Sri Lanka Army (SLA) checkpoints in Jaffna Thursday, sources from Jaffna district said. Hindus commemorate death anniversary of their fathers on 4 August.
SLA soldiers started admitting devotees at 5am as large crowds have started to gather around 4.30 am.
Vehicles and motorbikes were subjected to severe checking before they were allowed in.
Devotees were not allowed to stray into the sea waters beyond 50 meters from the sea shore. Sri Lanka Navy's patrol boats were deployed in large numbers, devotees attending the ceremony said.
Journalists who went to cover the event were not admitted to cross the checkpoints and had to enter the high security zone pretending to be devotees. Sri Lanka Tamil Journalists Association has condemned the action of the SLA soldiers.