Army desecrates Muslim cemetery, Pulmoddai villagers protest

[TamilNet, Saturday, 05 March 2005, 15:41 GMT]
Residents of traditional Muslim village of Pulmoddai closed their shops, set up road blocks, and burnt tyres Saturday protesting against the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) for forcibly digging their cemetery and removing human remains out of the burial sites, sources said. Pulmoddai village is located about 65 km, north of Trincomalee town on the border area close to Mullaitivu district.

The cemetery is in close proximity to the SLA camp located in a property belonging to the Ilmenite Factory, police said.

Pulmoddai Police officers rushed to the site immediately on receipt of information that about two thousand Muslim villagers had surrounded the cemetery to prevent army personnel from further tampering their burial place, sources said.

A Muslim activist said they noticed a SLA soldier with a human skull and skeletons removed from the burial ground. When a group of angry Muslim residents and officials of the mosque rushed to the site the soldier fled to the camp leaving the human remains in the cemetery, sources said.

Muslim youths and other residents in large numbers surrounded the cemetery and demanded that the army camp should be withdrawn from the area immediately, sources said.

Mr.K.Thurairatnasingham, Trincomalee district parliamentarian telephoned Pulmoddai Police to take stern action against those army soldiers who desecrated the Muslim burial place. Mr.Elilan, LTTE Trincomalee district political head made a complaint to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission officials in Trincomalee to take immediate steps to stop desecrating Muslim burial place by army soldiers.

Trincomalee district parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan who is in Colombo immediately contacted the IGP and government officials and requested them to take immediate steps to stop the desecration of Muslim burial ground, sources said.

Mr.Najeeb Abdul Majeed, Trincomalee district parliamentarian and Minister for Trincomalee District Development and Rehabilitation rushed to Pulmoddai and is now holding talks with the Police and Muslim local leaders regarding the incident. However Muslim villagers are still keeping vigil in cemetery area, according to reports reaching around 8 p.m. Saturday, sources said.

In the meantime Mr.A.H.M.Fowzie, a Minister in the UNPF government complained to Sri Lanka's President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge about SLA action and urged her to take immediate steps to stop the vandalism, sources said.

 

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