Jaffna traders urge SLG to compensate losses

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 August 1998, 10:36 GMT]
Around 600 persons, including 450 traders, staged a token fast in front of the Jaffna Kachcheri, in Jaffna town, on Monday from 8:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. protesting against the Sri Lanka Government (SLG) for bombing the cargo vessel Princess Kash on Friday, and demanding that the SLG pay compensation for the loss, said sources in Jaffna.

In a letter to Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga which they handed over to the Government Agent, Jaffna, the traders stated it was legal to transport the cargo on board Princess Kash as it had been approved by the Ministry of Trade, loaded with the permission of the Ministry of Defence and checked by the Sri Lanka Navy and it was a total falsehood for the SLG to state it was being taken for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The statement said that the loss 6,500 Metric tons of goods valued at 500 million rupees, affected the volume of trade and led to the scarcity of goods and money, and created economic hardship.

It called upon the SLG, which was intent on displaying great interest in the economic development of Jaffna, to compensate losses suffered by the private traders.

It also called upon the SLG to release the traders whom it had arrested and not make them the scapegoat for its own shortcomings.

Members of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), Peoples Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) were present at the fast and the demonstration was incident free, said sources.

Prominent at the fast were posters which read: "Cutbacks in relief (for refugees) and bombing of the ship have been deliberately planned by the Government"; "Do not starve people of the Jaffna Peninsula"; "One country, one people?, but should the Tamils in Jaffna starve??"

 

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