SLA restricts access to temple

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Sri Lankan Army turned back large number of devotees who went to the daily noon pooja (service) at the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy temple today. The SLA officials said that only the priest and two of his assistants would be allowed to conduct the pooja today.

This measure follows reports that the large number of LTTE fighters had moved into the Valigamam sector of the peninsula.

Reports from certain parts of Vaddukkoddai, on the peninsula say that LTTE fighters are openly moving about in some of the villages in the area since yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan army claimed yesterday that two members of the LTTE surrendered on Monday at a location east of Mankulam. They were said to be Selvathurai Selvanathan, 48 and Thurairajah Pathmanathan, 28.

The army claimed that Selvathurai was a tranlator who had lived for a long time abroad before joining the Tigers and that he is a native of Punnalaikadduwan in Jaffna.

Brigadier Sanath Munesinghe claimed that Thurairajah was a member of the LTTE's video unit and that he had been involved in filming the Tiger assault on the SLAšs Poonryn camp in 1993.

The secretive nature of the LTTE makes verification of the army's claims difficult.


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