Tension in Jaffna Islet as SLN blocks video show

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 July 2003, 12:10 GMT]
Attempts by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) soldiers block a video show on the history of Tamil struggle by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) watched by residents and visitors to the historic Nagapooshani Amman Temple festival in Nainativu Thursday night escalated tension in the island, reports from Jaffna said.

Video and television equipment that were being used in the show were damaged by the SLN, reports added.

More than twenty SLN soldiers appeared at the open grounds near the Nagapooshani Amman Kovil and Nainativu Buddhist temple and ordered the video show to be stopped. When several residents and members of the political section of the LTTE who were screening the event resisted arguments ensued leading to an explosive situation.

Reports say that SLN then tried to remove the equipment by force and attacked those who obstructed. Several people including some children were injured during the clash. The SLN rounded up about twenty members of the LTTE and supporters and took them to the SLN camp according to unconfirmed reports.

Political sources in Jaffna said that since the communication facilities in Nainativu were poor it was difficult to obtain details of the incident.

The LTTE political wing has registered a complaint with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), reports said.

Reports further said Jaffna district Head of Political Section of LTTE, Chemmannan, rushed to islet Friday night on information that three of the political wing cadres arrested by the SLN were threatening to take cyanide.

Reports later confirmed that the SLN released the three cadres late Friday night.

 

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