Jewellers stage lightening strike against continued crippling of trade in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 December 2010, 13:24 GMT]
Jewellers in Jaffna Friday closed their businesses against the arrest of three leading businessmen in their industry that took place the same day morning by a team of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sri Lanka Police from Vavuniyaa. In the melee due to the protest the Sinhala CID men chose to release two jewellers and took one trader into their custody. Jewellers in Jaffna said Vavuniyaa Police, deployed by Colombo government, was serving the hidden agenda of crippling the business activities of the Tamil traders in the peninsula to make way for the Sinhalese to capture it.

The President of the JCC, J. Jeyasekaram, hurriedly convened media briefing Friday on receipt of information of the arrest of three jewellers. He said that he was notified by the jewellers of a false allegation against them of buying stolen jewellery from a seller in Vavuniyaa.

The CID had come to arrest the jewellers without prior notice to the Jaffna Police and the Jaffna Chamber of Commerce (JCC), he told media.

“The allegation by the CID team against Jaffna jewellers is not true. Any such purchase is made only by an accepted procedure. Traders have informed me that they have not committed any offence and no such purchase is made from a person brought from Vavuniyaa by the CID team,” Mr. Jeyasekaram told media.

Vavuniyaa Police said that jewellers Jaffna were taken into custody by the CID team on an allegation that stolen jewellery from a shop in Vavuniyaa by a person in the same area had been bought by a jeweller in Jaffna.

The arrested trader has been taken to Vavuniyaa for further interrogation.

The JCC brought the reactions from the jewellers to the Jaffna Police.

JCC sources said Friday’s protest and boycott was held amid allegations that the Jaffna trade community has been undergoing harassment, intimidation and extortion of money by the intelligence divisions of the Sri Lanka Army and Sri Lanka Police to cripple their industry.

JCC sources reminded the interrogation conducted by a CID team during the first week of December at the office of the JCC alleging its members of alleged financial dealings with the LTTE in the past.

Later, twenty leading traders were summoned to Colombo for further interrogation at the Fourth Floor of the CID headquarters.

Already a leading Tamil businessman in Jaffna arrested by the CID is currently under detention in the CID headquarters in Colombo.

Several businessmen in Jaffna are forced to live in hiding fearing arrest and harassment by Colombo establishment and its agents in Jaffna.


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