General shut down in east as protests mount
[TamilNet, Friday, 24 May 2002, 06:17 GMT]
Schools, government offices, shops and businesses were closed Friday in the Batticaloa district and the coastal region of the Ampara district as protests against the Special Task Force (STF) for firing on a demonstration in Thirukkovil on Wednesday, 22 May. Sri Lanka Police sources in the east said there was no traffic Friday morning because protestors were continuing to block main roads with heaps of burning tires.
The general shut down was called by several civil society groups, including the, the Eastern University Society (EUS), the Batticaloa Students’Union and the Ceylon Tamil Teachers’ Union.
Protestors burnt tires in Batticaloa town and several places in the Ampara district. Police put out the fires and cleared the debris blocking the roads Friday morning.
A spokesman for the CTTU told TamilNet that his union is demanding that the government should lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers.
Meanwhile, in Akkaraipattu, a major clash between the protestors and a squad of riot Police that was sent in to disperse the crowds was averted Thursday by the intervention of high officers in the southeastern coastal town.