LTTE women cadres, civilians injured in SLA assault
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 February 2003, 11:12 GMT]
Four women members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and several Tamil civilians were injured when soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Wednesday unleashed violence at Manipay junction, about 13 km off Jaffna town following the refusal by LTTE women cadres to remove their waist-belt, sources said.
The assault by the government troops manning the SLA camp at Manipay junction continued for more than an hour even after the arrival of the members of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Jaffna town. In the presence of SLMM monitors a boy was assaulted by government troops fracturing his hand, civilian sources said.
Tension prevailed in the area from about 10 in the morning till around 2 p.m., the sources said.
SLA soldiers went on rampage when two LTTE women cadres refused to remove their waist-belt, sources said. SLA soldiers with knives attempted to remove waist belts from LTTE women cadres. When more LTTE women cadres rushed to scene, SLA soldiers had attacked them with knives and clubs. Two LTTE women cadres received injuries caused by knives, one in her forehead and other in her hand, the sources said.
Following the incident a large number of people gathered at the Manipay junction in and blocked the roads that lead to Chankanai, Maruthanamadam and Manipay town where the SLA camp is located.
SLA soldiers then started attacking the people who were on the roads blocking the vehicular movements, with clubs and other weapons, sources said. A journalist of Tamil regional daily was also severely assaulted by the SLA soldiers and his camera was damaged. One SLA soldier snatched the media accreditation card when he showed it to identify him as a journalist, the sources said
The LTTE Jaffna district political head Mr.Ilamparuthi visited the site. He held talks with the SLMM monitors at the scene, sources said.
An emergency conference has been summoned by the SLMM in Jaffna on Thursday at 10am to discuss matters regarding this incident. Jaffna area commander of the SLA Major General Sarath Fonseka is to attend this conference, SLMM sources said.
More SLA personnel have been deployed in the area and tension prevails, sources said.