General shutdown paralyzes Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 August 2003, 11:51 GMT]
A general shutdown (hartal) Monday completely disrupted normal life in the Trincomalee district, especially in the Trincomalee town. The general shut down was called by the Trincomalee Resurgence Tamil Community (TRTC) to show its opposition to the 'opportunist' elements that are "bent on derailing the peace process," organizers said.

Shops belonging to Tamils and Muslims were closed. In some places Sinhalese traders also closed their business establishments. All Tamil and Muslim schools were closed as student's boycotted classes. State and private banks were closed for business.

Government departments that come under central government and North East Provincial Council and post offices did not function, as officials and employees did not report for work. Law courts did not function as litigants and lawyers failed to report, police said.

Offices of national and international non-governmental organizations in Trincomalee did not function. Bus services to and from Trincomalee came to a standstill because of poor presence of commuters at the bus stand. Some long distance buses were seen in the bus stand but the buses left without enough commuters, transport sector sources said

The organizers of the general shut down said the hartal was a success and this was the first time all the government offices under the central government in the eastern port town were closed down due to the absence of employees.

According to the organizers, the one day general shutdown in the Trincomalee district was held on Monday with the following goals:

1. To reiterate that the present peace process can be continued by establishing the interim administrative structure as demanded by the LTTE who have been accepted by the Tamil people as their sole representative.

2. To condemn the opportunist elements that are bent on adopting a divide and rule policy among Tamil speaking people with the backing of international imperialists thereby sabotaging the present peace process

3. To condemn the establishment of unauthorized Sinhalese settlements in traditional homeland of Tamil speaking people utilizing the present peace environment

4. To condemn the new recruitment of police personnel by the Sri Lankan government for the eastern province which would cause immense harm to ethnic harmony

5. To condemn President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga's attempt to de-merge the northeast province

6. To condemn the atrocities now unleashed against Tamils by the security forces.

Trinco Hartal
The usually busy Trincomalee Dockyard Road from Trincomalee bus stand is seen deserted

Trinco Hartal
Trincomalee general post office seen closed.

Trinco Hartal
Trincomalee Divisional Secretariat office building completely closed down due to hartal

Trinco Hartal
Trincomalee bus stand with three long distance buses waiting without passengers while SLA armoured vehicle patrols the town.


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