Tamil-Muslim peace committee formed in Ampara

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 August 2003, 03:51 GMT]
A Tamil-Muslim peace committee has commenced operating in the Ampara district, based in Kalumanai, on Sunday, with the goal of addressing problems and apprehensions between the two communities and preventing violence in the future, sources in Ampara said.

The committee was created at a meeting held at the Kalmunai Police station, chaired jointly by Tamil and Muslim divisional secretaries, where representatives of the two communities participated.

The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) for Kalmunai, Mr.M.U.A.Serifdeen, the SSP for Ampara, Mr. A. Wethangama, and the Superintendent of the Special Task Force, Mr. Vasantha Ratnayake, also attended the meeting, police sources said.

Mr. Serifdeen said at the meeting that the police have started an investigation into the recent violence intended to create ethnic tension between communities in the Ampara district and would soon find out who was responsible for instigating such violence, the sources said.

Meanwhile, both the Sri Lanka police and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have said that they are investigating the alleged disappearance of two Muslims from Sainthamaruthu in the Ampara district.

The two men left their homes on August 18 for Valaichenai, and told their relatives that they would return the next day. But so far, the men have not returned.

Though some members of the Muslim public said that they suspected the two men might have been abducted by the LTTE, the LTTE’s deputy political head in Ampara, Mr. Kuyilan, categorically denied any involvement, saying the LTTE has started its own investigation of the disappearance.

In fact, Mr. Kuyilan said that the LTTE may soon join the Sri Lankan police and Sri Lanka Army personnel in searching for the two missing men.

The tension in the district following the disappearance has somewhat eased and the district is slowly getting back to normal, police sources said.

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