MIA demonstration turns unruly
[TamilNet, Monday, 26 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A demonstration this morning in front of the ICRC head office in Colombo by a crowd said to be the kith and kin of Sri Lankan army soldiers who have gone missing in action in Mullaithivu and other battles with the Liberation Tigers turned unruly as some demonstrators began pelting stones at the delegation buildings.
The crowd assembled in front of the ICRC delegation at Layards Road in Bambalapitiya, a plush residential part of Colombo this morning around 9.30 a.m. carrying anti-ICRC placards like "The ICRC in love with the LTTE" and shouting slogans against the organisation.
The crowd demanded that the ICRC should take action to tell the kith and kin of the missing soldiers whether they (the MIA) are in the custody of the Liberation Tigers or whether they are dead and also that the ICRC should press the LTTE to come with an answer soon.
The head of the ICRC's Sri Lankan delegation, Mr. Max Hadron had explained the difficulties his organisation is facing in the matter to the five member delegation from the crowd which had a long discussion with him until 12.30 p.m. (06.30 GMT).
The crowd was accompanied by several Buddhist monks said sources at the scene.
The leader of the New Democratic United National Lalith Front Ms Srimani Lalith Athulathmudali formerly a cabinet minister in the PA regime addressed the demonstrators around 2 p.m.
The crowds were cheered her said sources.