Hartal cripples Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 January 2006, 12:14 GMT]
Normal life and business in the Trincomalee town and its suburbs were completely paralyzed Thursday when shops, government offices, schools, public markets, non-governmental organizations and state and private sector banking institutions were closed down. Public and private transport came to a complete halt. All main roads in the town were seen deserted except government troops manning sentry points and patrolling, sources in the east port town said.

Since the murder of five Tamil students allegedly by State armed forces on January 2 near the Trincomalee sea beach the normal life and business of the east port town had been disrupted often due to a call by the Tamil Resurgence Forum (TRF) for a general shut down and the closure of government offices and banks.

The general shut down was relaxed on last Thursday for the funeral of the slain Tamil students. The general shut continued thereafter till Monday. TRF then renewed its call for the closure of government offices, schools and transport facilities and asked banks and the office of the Trincomalee Divisional Secretariat to remain open enabling pensioners to obtain their pensions and Muslims to celebrate their Hajji festival.

TRF again on Wednesday (January 11) issued a call to open all private business establishments and retail outlets of the co-operative society taking into consideration of the welfare of ordinary people and Thai Pongal event scheduled to be held on Saturday. However the TRF appealed for the complete closure of government offices and banks till its demand for the withdrawal of government troops from the town is met, sources said.

In the meantime, the Sinhala Front Wednesday issued a call for a general shut down for four days, from Thursday (January 12) till Sunday (January 15) to mourn the deaths of Sinhalese people in the town and sailors who were killed in the Dvora explosion in Trincomalee Sea. In response to this call on the first day normal life in Trincomalee town, its suburbs and Sinhala settlements in other parts of the district up to Kantalai was disrupted, sources said.


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