Mass funeral for Ampara victims

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 September 1999, 12:45 GMT]
The funeral of 43 Sinhalese villagers killed in Saturday's massacre at Punchi-sigiriya in the Uhana police division - Ampara district, took place today at Konagala cemetery. Over ten thousand people witnessed the event, residents said.

The rest 11 bodies of Sinhalese were taken to their native paces in the Kurunagala district, sources said.

Two senior officials of the Presidential secretariat represented the President at the funeral. Ministers M.H.M.Ashraff and Mrs Sumedha Jayasinghe and members of parliament of the Ampara district attended the funeral.

White flags were hoisted on all houses, shops and other public buildings. Shops were closed down in the Ampara area, sources said.

Tension prevailed in the border Tamil villages. Tamils remained in their houses through fear, sources said.

Soon after the funeral, top security officials held an emergency meeting at Punchi-sigiriya. Ministers Ashraff, Sumedha Jayasinghe and MPs of the Ampara district attended the conference. The security situation of the Sinhala border villages in the province was discussed in detail at the conference, sources said.

In conclusion, it was decided to re-establish the two army check posts at Bangalawadi and Sunganthagama immediately to ensure better protection to the Sinhala people in the border villagers in the Ampara district, sources said.

Meanwhile the SLMC leader Mr.M.H.M.Ashraff on behalf of his new political party, the National Unity Alliance, donated today dry rations worth 430, 000 rupees to the Minister of Social Services Ms Sumedha Jayasinghe to be distributed among the victims.

Earlier Minister Mr.Ashraff ordered ex-gratia payments of 10 thousand rupees to each affected family in the Saturday's massacre.

 

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