Call for peace hartal in Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Friday, 19 January 2001, 19:58 GMT]
The Independent Students' Union (ISF) in Batticaloa Friday called on people to observe a one-day hartal on Saturday in the eastern town in support of the campaign by Jaffna University staff and students and to urge the Sri Lankan government to reciprocate the Liberation Tigers' ongoing unilateral cease-fire. The call for hartal coincides with a musical show organised by the Sri Lanka Army said sources.
A pamphlet issued by the student union said the aspiration of the Tamil people is their right to self-determination, and added that the university community in the northeast has highlighted this in its recent peace awareness campaign.
"The Sri Lankan Government should stop its genocidal policy against the Tamil community, accept the unilateral cease-fire call of the LTTE and start peace talks immediately" the pamphlet further stated.
"The international community should exert pressure on the government to declare an unconditional cease fire immediately", it added.
Sources said the government troops have stepped up security measures in Batticaloa and conducted search operation in the town Friday morning.
Special Task Force (STF) troops warned shopkeepers and businessmen in the Kaluwanchikudi area to keep their establishments open on Saturday.
The military authorities in Batticaloa said in a leaflet given to businessmen in Batticaloa that it "considers hartals and protests as illegal and asks the peace loving citizens to support the armed forces and continue with their daily routines".
Meanwhile special prayers ('poojahs') were held at Hindu temples in Batticaloa district Friday noon, requesting the government to start peace talks immediately, accepting the unilateral cease fire call of the Tigers.
The prayers were organised by the Association of Hindu Temples in Batticaloa and Ampara districts. A large number of devotees attended the special poojahs held at Batticaloa Sri Mamangeswarar Temple,Kokkaddicholai Sri Thanthonreeswarar Temple, Siththandy Murugan Temple and Vantharumoolai Sri Maha Vishnu Temple, said sources.
|'Pongu Thamil' demonstration in Jaffna, 17.January 2001. |