TELO funerals amid apprehension

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 February 1999, 08:10 GMT]
Most shops in Vavuniya were closed and few people were on the streets today fearing trouble as the TELO prepares for the funeral of its three cadres who were shot dead by the PLOTE on Monday, February 8. Few students turned up for classes in the town's schools.

The PLOTE is on full alert in the suburb of Kovilkulam; cadres of this paramilitary organisation are patrolling this part of the town with weapons and clubs said residents.

The TELO is geared up too for any move by the PLOTE against it in the suburbs of Pandariakulam and Vairavappuliyankulam.

Meanwhile, the arrangements have been made with the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) to fly the body of the civilian, Krishnapillai Rajkumar, 29, who was killed in the cross fire when the PLOTE attacked and killed the TELO cadres on February 8 to his home town in Jaffna today.

Community leaders and some government officials expressed anguish that nothing is being done by the SLA to stop the two Tamil paramilitaries operating under its instructions and supervision from engaging in Mafia style shoot outs in the crowded suburbs of Vavuniya.

A senior Tamil member of Parliament in Colombo said that the SLA will do little to rein in the feuding paramilitaries in Vavuniya because the army and the Sri Lankan government stand to gain by such opportunities to make the Tamils abhor the armed youth among them in general.

It is an attitude, which the SLA hopes, will similarly affect in the long term the way the Tamil people perceive the Liberation Tigers (LTTE), the MP added.


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