Dissonant developments jar SLA music

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 January 2001, 17:17 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army went ahead Saturday evening with a music show it had organized in Batticaloa with an audience comprising government officials despite the general shut down in the east coast town and its suburbs. Tamil musicians and singers from Colombo who has been booked for the show did not turn up, sources said.

Ten schools in the east coast district had been invited to take part in a music competition during the show but only one school turned up for the event.

The school, Vincent Girl's High School, is situated in front of the SLA's 23-3 brigade headquarters in the heart of Batticaloa town.

The music show's calamities were further compounded when the power supply to the whole town was mysteriously cut off, plunging the Weber stadium into darkness and confusion. The army, however, brought in powerful generators and got the show going again with a Sinhala music group from Colombo.

The Weber stadium, named after a Jesuit priest from US who spent most of his adult life in Batticaloa and did much for the development of sports in the region, is now under the 23-3 brigade headquarters of the SLA in the heart of the town. Security was tightened up on all approach roads to the stadium this evening.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Army soldiers Saturday arrested three Jaffna University undergraduates while they were distributing black bands to students and the public. The students of the Jaffna University called on the people of the peninsula Saturday to express their support for the Hartal in Batticaloa by wearing black bands on their arms.


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