Protest forces Deputy Minister to cancel Jaffna meetings

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 25 May 2004, 15:03 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Deputy Media Minister, Mr. M.S.Cegu Issadeen, Tuesday cancelled his meeting with Jaffna based journalists and a planned discussion with Sri Lanka government officials at the Jaffna district secretariat in the afternoon because of a protest by members of Jaffna district civil groups and Jaffna University students, sources said.

Protestors carrying placards and black flags shouted slogans that people of Jaffna, especially hundreds of thousands of internally displaced, have been languishing in refugee camps and welfare centres unable to resettle in the houses and do cultivation in their agricultural lands which are occupied by the Sri Lanka Army in the name of high security zones.

Jaffna Kachcheri
Security personnel and protestors are seen at the entrance to the Jaffna district secretariat.

"Hence we would not allow government ministers coming here, meeting peoples' representatives and to hold conferences to show the world that every thing in Jaffna is normal," one of the protestors said.

More anti-riot police personnel were rushed to the Jaffna district secretariat site to quell any disturbances when the deputy minister arrived at the scene. However, ministry officials who came to the secretariat in advance to make arrangement for Mr.Issadeen's arrival informed him about the tense situation, sources said.

Thereafter Mr. Issadeen cancelled his visit to the district secretariat and invited Jaffna journalists to come for a press briefing in one of the SLA camps located in Jaffna town. But journalists rejected his invitation, sources said.

Mr.Issadeen held discussion with SLA officials at Palaly military base and inspected the Palaly Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) relay station. Later he visited Nallur Kandasamy Temple and the Jaffna Public Library, sources said.

Jaffna Kachcheri
Protestors with placards and black flags in front of the district secretariat.


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