Thousands march in Jaffna, urge talks, condemn attacks on LTTE activists

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 March 2005, 12:39 GMT]
More than twenty thousand people marched in Jaffna Wednesday urging the international community to persuade the Sri Lankan government to restart the long stalled peace talks with the Liberation Tigers. The march condemned the killing and shooting of LTTE political leaders and called on Colombo to set up a joint mechanism with the Tigers for the equitable distribution of Tsunami aid to the northeast. Jaffna peninsula was shut down until the march, which wound through the northern town from morning 10.45, concluded in the afternoon.

Jaffna rally

Jaffna rally“The Sri Lankan government’s failure to restart peace talks with the Tigers on the basis of the Interim Self Governing Authority has created fear among the people of Jaffna and all the people of northeast that cease fire will break down”, said the Consortium of Civil Organisation in Jaffna, which organized the march, in a memorandum to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan submitted through the UNHCR office in Jaffna town.

The memorandum was also sent to President Chandrika Kumaratunga through Jaffna Government Agent.

Jaffna rally
Jaffna rally
Jaffna rally
Jaffna rally
Thousands poured into Jaffna University grounds from various parts of the peninsula in hundreds of hired vehicles and buses to take part in the rally.

The memorandum was also handed over to the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission and ICRC.

Marchers carried placards urging the Sri Lankan armed forces to disarm paramilitaries and stop killing LTTE political activists. They shouted slogans demanding that the Sri Lanka army should leave the towns and villages which it occupies in the peninsula.

The march began around 10.45 from Jaffna University grounds to Parameswara Junction- Kandar Madam - Nallur and concluded at the Jaffna District Secretariat where Tamil National Alliance MPs for Jaffna Mr. Mavai Senathirajah and Ms. Padmini Sithamparanathan handed over the memorandum to the GA.

"Attacks on our unarmed officials engaged in political activities in the SLA controlled areas is a clear violation of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA)," the Liberation Tigers said in their Peace Secretariat website, alleging colllusion of the Special Task Forces (STF) in Monday's attack on LTTE Head of the Women's Political Wing Kuveni and two other women cadres.

"The Special Task Force (STF) personnel carry out thorough check on all the vehicles passing that road. It is therefore highly impossible for the paramilitary operatives to carry out such an attack on that road without the co-operation of the STF," the LTTE statement added.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's President, Chandrika Kumaratunge, has appointed a two-person commission to investigate the incident.

Jaffna rally

Jaffna rally

 

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