Police use teargas to disperse JVP protestors

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 November 2004, 12:32 GMT]
Trincomalee Police used teargas to disperse a group of about three hundred Sinhala demonstrators led by Trincomalee district Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarian Mr.Jayantha Wijesekara in front of the Trincomalee Police Headquarters, police sources said. A curfew imposed Friday afternoon around 2 p.m. in Trincomalee town after the incident but was lifted around 5 p.m. the same day.

JVP is a Sinhala nationalist Marxist party and main partner in the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance.

The Sinhala group brought down to Trincomalee from Kantalai, about twenty four miles off northwest of east port town first held a sit-in protest blocking the Colombo-Trincomalee highway Friday morning at Fourth Mile Post junction demanding that they would not leave the place until the Thamileelam national flag hoisted in the Trincomalee Hindu Cultural Hall where the LTTE is holding Maveerar Day celebrations is brought down.

The traffic in the Trincomalee-Colombo highway came to a standstill for several hours due to the sit-in-protest, sources said.

Trinco, JVP protest Trinco, JVP protest
The Royal Norwegian Flag and an effigy of the SLMM Head of Mission is being burnt by the protesters.



Trinco, JVP protest
At the first instance the Police did not allow these protestors to go on procession to the office of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Trincomalee from the Fourth Mile post junction. Maximum security was provided to the Trincomalee SLMM office. However around 1 p.m. the protestors started to move towards the Hindu Cultural Hall located in the Inner Harbour Road. The police blocked the Inner Harbour Road when the protestors reached the junction in front of the Trincomalee Police Headquarters. As protestors became violent disobeying the orders of the police, Police Riot Squad fired teargas canisters towards the crowd, sources said.

Later the police imposed a curfew to that particular area to disperse the crowd as they were found to be regrouping and following complaints of assault on Tamils in some areas. The Inspector General of Police Mr Chandra Fernando told Trincomalee district parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan that the curfew was imposed only in the particular site where protestors were found and did not cover the entire port city when the latter complained that parents of those LTTE martyrs would be placed in a difficult position to visit cemeteries where their loved ones were buried in several places in the northeast due to the imposition of the curfew, sources said.

R.Sampanthan made a request to the IGP to deploy Police for the maintenance of law and order in the Trincomalee town and to withdraw army soldiers following a complaint that soldiers assaulted some Tamil civilians in Sivankoviladi in the town after the imposition of the curfew, sources said.

The curfew was lifted around five in the evening after the Sinhala group led by parliamentarian Mr.Jayantha Wijesekara left the site after addressing the protestors and burning an effigy, police sources said.

Trincomalee town returned to normalcy Friday evening.

 

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