Prayers for peace

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 July 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Black flags flew in Batticaloa town and suburbs yesterday to commemorate Black July, the anniversary of the anti-Tamil race riots of 1983, said sources in Batticaloa. Though there were a few incidents where irate policemen tore and destroyed the flags, protests were otherwise peaceful.

The call by - Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), Peoples Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), was in memory of the prisoners, soldiers and civilians who lost their lives in the incidents of July 1983.

At Arasady, in the Batticaloa town, the police entered shops and tore down the black flags, while motorists complained of the same treatment by the police at the checkpoints, said sources.

Meanwhile the groups circulated a leaflet requesting the public to pray for peace on July 29 -- the day Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga is to meet the Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Colombo, to discuss the civil war in Sri Lanka.

The groups have also asked all places of religious worship in the Batticaloa and Amparai districts to ring their bells at 12:00 noon, and asked school children, officers in government departments and businessmen, to pray for peace at the stroke of twelve.


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