'Hartal' protest in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 April 2000, 06:13 GMT]
Shops, offices and businesses were closed in Jaffna this morning in response to the 'Hartal' called by an alliance of forty NGOs including religious organisations and the Jaffna University students' union. The Hartal is being observed today as part of the continuing protest in the peninsula over the civilians who are awaiting the Sri Lanka army's permission to leave their villages that are situated close to the Elephant Pass garrison in Jaffna's southern sector.
The town is almost deserted and there are few vehicles on the roads said the Jaffna TamilNet correspondent.
Usually this would be a very busy day for Jaffna town as thousands of shoppers would have thronged here to buy goods and provisions for the Tamil New Year tomorrow he said.
A protest fast began around 8 a.m. this morning in front of the Jaffna Kachcheri, an organiser of the Hartal said. Kachcheri officials would not be blocked from entering or leaving the District Secretariat today said an organiser of the fast.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka military sources said that 750 civilians were allowed to leave their village around 2 p.m. yesterday. They reached Mirusuvil last evening according to the sources.
Another group of 600 were allowed to leave Thambakamam, another hamlet in the war zone later in the day around 4 p.m. They are now in Kilali the military sources said.