Irate Tsunami refugees jeer PM, JVP in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 December 2004, 13:04 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksha and leaders of the Sinhala nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna visited Jaffna Thursday amidst strong protests by refugees from the Tsunami destroyed coastal villages of the peninsula. Jeering refugees, demanding relief from Colombo, got into a tussle with the PM’s delegation at the Puloly American Mission School near Pt. Pedro. Earlier, the PM and his entourage were turned back by refugees in Valvettithurai protesting against Colombo for not sending relief or medicine to them since the Tsunami devastated their villages four days ago.

GA Secretariat
PM's entourage was unable to visit the Jaffna District Secretariat for the scheduled meeting with the GA.
The PM’s entourage was blocked by people from the Tsunami destroyed village of Manalkaadu on Jaffna’s southern coast when it visited the Puloly American Mission School where the refugees are sheltered. Altercations and tussles erupted between the PM’s group and the refugees when Sri Lanka army troops providing security to the visitors attempted to force their way into the premises.

The PM’s entourage then went to the Sri Lanka army’s 52 Division Headquarters in Varani where their tour was disrupted again by Tsunami refugees in the area who blocked the road from the garrison, protesting against Colombo for not coming to their aid since tidal waves washed away their villages on Jaffna’s southern coast.

The PM’s group had to be airlifted to the SLA’s main garrison in Jaffna as a result. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha did not visit the Jaffna District Secretariat as scheduled after people gathered there to protest against Colombo for starting rescue and releif operations in the northeast since the Tsunami.

ProtestPrime Minister Rajapaksha was accompanied by JVP’s powerful propaganda secretary Mr. Wimal Weerawansa MP, Mr. Jeyraj Fernandopulle, Minister of Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Mr. Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Power and Energy, Mr. Anura Dissanayake, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Land and Irrigation (JVP) and Mr. Dilan Perera, Deputy Minister of Port and Aviation.

Meanwhile a press release by the Sri Lankan government Thursday states: “Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse travelled to Jaffna today (30 December) and met many people who have survived the tidal waves. The purpose of his visit was to formalise the distribution of essential the distribution of essential items in Jaffna”.

Protest
Protest in front of Jaffna District secretariat

 

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