Picketers call for release of homeguards

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 September 2004, 01:20 GMT]
A picketing campaign held by a small group of Sinhalese persons in the main conference hall of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Trincomalee town Thursday from about 11 a.m. demanding the release of two Sinhala home guards arrested with grenades and weapons by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in their controlled areas in Trincomalee district recently, was called off around 8 p.m. when the Police warned them that they would use force, sources said.

The picketers wanted to meet the ceasefire monitors regarding the release of the two home guards arrested in Gomarankadawela area, north of Trincomalee district. The SLMM allowed twenty of them to the conference hall for a meeting. After entering the hall, the picketers said they will not leave untill the home guards were released by the LTTE.

When the police threatened with force the protestors left stating that they would return to the SLMM office Friday morning, according to sources.

LTTE said home guards were taken into custody when they strayed into their controlled areas with grenades and other weapons, sources said.

Meanwhile, a Sinhalese group called for general shut down in Trincomalee town on Thursday demanding the release of two home guards. Sources said most of business establishments opened for business and government offices and schools functioned normally. State buses ran to a reduced schedule.

A grenade was thrown into a cemetery located in the heart of the town but no one was injured, sources said.

 

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