Tension in Akkaraipattu after attack on shops

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 September 2004, 04:43 GMT]
Tension prevailed in Akkaraipattu Thursday after several shops in the Tamil division of the southeastern town were smashed up in the early hours of Thursday morning. "Sri Lanka Police stood by doing nothing while some thugs attacked the shops. The attack is aimed at instigating a violence between Muslims and Tamils. We are determined to stop this by peaceful means. We appeal to Tamils and our Muslim brethren not to rise to the bait of those who want to fan communal violence and divide our people", said Mr. S. Kuyilinpan, head of the LTTE's political division for the Ampara District Thursday.

A Muslim group called for a Hartal Thursday in Akkaraipattu town, 64 kilometres south of Batticaloa, to protest against a land dispute in Vattamadu, a pasture ground south of Akkaraipattu.

Some Muslims who went to plough land in Vattamadu on Monday were turned back by local residents who say that the area is a government reserve for pasture.

Government officials who visited the area said that the land reserved for pasture had been earlier encroached by some persons from Akkaraipattu.

A tractor on which the persons who attempted to plough land for cultivation in Vattamadu was detained by local residents to prevent the encroachment, a government official who visited the area said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kuyilinpan said: "We are speaking to Muslim community leaders and government officials to resolve the matter peacefully and amicably".

 

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