NE Tamils ignore Independence Day celebrations

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 February 2003, 13:43 GMT]
Except a handful of government servants, other officieals and majority Tamils including students kept away from participating in the country’s 55th Independence Day functions held at district secretariats in the northeast province Tuesday, sources said. The Jaffna undergraduates hoisted a big black flag in the university premises and observed the Independence Day as a mourning day. The university area was decorated with black flags, Jaffna Students Union sources said.

Jaffna Government Agent, Mr.S.Pathmanathan, hoisted the national flag at the district secretariat premises and about one hundred public servants participated at the event. No speeches were made, sources said.

Elsewhere in Jaffna peninsula Tamils hoisted black flags in their houses, business establishments and other institutions. Buses and other vehicles were seen plying with black flags. However the normal life of Jaffna people was not disturbed, civilian sources said. In some places the Police and the Sri Lanka Army pulled down black flags hoisted by the people on their own buildings, Jaffna sources said.

In Batticaloa official Independence Day function was held under the patronage of Government Agent Mr.Mounagurusamy with Deputy Minister Mr. Segu Dawood Basheer as the chief guest. Only a few government servants participated, sources said.

In Trincomalee national flags were seen hoisted in the bus stand and market area dominated by Sinhalese traders. Few government servants and heads of government departments, northeast provincial council secretaries and local heads of State armed forces attended the official function held at Trincomalee McHeyzer Stadium. Elsewhere in the cosmopolitan town Tamils did not show any interest in the Independence Day celebrations, sources said

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