SLA urged to open road in Jaffna town

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 August 2002, 21:18 GMT]
A large crowd staged a token sit in protest in the heart of Jaffna town Saturday morning, blocking Sri Lanka army vehicles going to the Palaly base for about one and half hours. The protestors demanded that the SLA should open to the public a key road in the northern town's busy centre.

The SLA's 51-2 brigade headquarters is situated in the heart of the Jaffna town, encompassing the Subash and Gnanam hotels and the rear of the Jaffna hospital. The brigade HQ is situated close to the Vembadi Girls' School. Jaffna hospital authorities and education officials say the camp's location in the midst of the town centre, is a hindrance to patients and school children.

The SLA brigade HQ is between the Ariyakulam Junction and the Jaffna Hospital. Only SLA a traffic is allowed through this section of the road.

The protest campaign commenced around 1030 a.m. and concluded around 12 noon.

Students, men and women participated in the protest campaign, which was organized by the Consortium of Valigamam Southeast Peoples Organizations. Its President Mr. C. V. K. Sivagnanam led the protest.

Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian M.K.Sivajilingam, All Ceylon Tamil Congress General Secretary Nalliah Kumarakuruparan, EPRLF General Secretary Suresh Premachandran, and Jaffna Mayor Sellan Kandiah and representatives of several peoples' organizations also participated in the sit-in across.

Protestors shouted slogans and carried placards telling authorities "Do not make way for another struggle", "SLA should leave densely populated areas", and "Road blocks should be removed to minimise traffic congestion and avoid accidents in Jaffna".

SLA officers who came to the spot without weapons were seen watching the protest till it came to an end, residents said.

 

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