Vavuniya traders face intimidation by armed groups- TNA MP

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 February 2006, 19:48 GMT]
"Traders of Vavuniya have brought to my notice that they have become the target of intimidation by unidentified armed groups. The anonymous callers have demanded ransom of cash over the telephone. I am also informed that these men are using mobile phone for this purpose," said Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan, Wanni district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian in an urgent letter to the Sri Lanka President Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse.

Traders who defy the extortionists, and their business establishments have become targets for gunfire and grenade attacks. A few traders have already been killed recently on this issue, said Mr.Adaikalanathan.

"Traders allege that the armed groups move about with the blessing of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers, and point out that in Vavuniya, where many security points line the streets, armed outsiders cannot move about without the knowledge of soldiers manning the checkpoints. Traders have complained that they have no other alterative but to shut down their shops indefinitely if this intimidation is allowed to continue," said Mr.Adaikalanathan.

"Hence I appeal to Your Excellency to take immediate action to bring an end to these atrocities so that these traders could continue their trade peacefully without any fear and hindrance," said Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan in his letter.

 

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