2ND LEAD

Muslim protestors stone STF over Pottuvil massacre

[TamilNet, Monday, 18 September 2006, 10:29 GMT]
Special Task Force (STF) personnel and Policemen who were deployed in Pottuvil fired several shots into the air to disperse the angry Muslim protestors who stoned STF and Police vehicles around 11:30 a.m. Monday following the massacre of 10 Muslim youths. All the slain Muslims were youths below 25 years. Two of the victims are 15-year-old boys. The bodies of the victims were taken to Periya Pallivasal Mosque in Pottuvil. Tension had re-surfaced in the area, a few days ago, when the dead body of a Sinhala person was brought to burial inside a Muslim cemetery, according to the sources at the Mosque.

The victims were identified as M. Anurdeen, 15, M. Nafar, 15, M. Samsudeen, 18, A.M. Faizal, 19, L. Anees, 19, M. Jauffer, 20, and S. L. Rizard from Pottuvil and A. M. Ajmeer, 18, M. Fairooz, 19 and M. I. Shiyam, 20, from Akkaraipattu.

The wounded Muslim civilian, admitted to Amparai Hospital was identified as M. Meeramuhaideen, 55.

Rattal Kulam, located 9 km southwest of Pottuvil, is located in Lahugala division, a predominant Sinhala division, which was carved out of Pottuvil, a Muslim dominated division.

Earlier, in 2005, a move by Sinhala ultranationalists to install Buddha statue in Muslim post-Tsunami resettlement was opposed by the local Muslim residents.

A training base of the Sri Lankan elite counter-insurgency Special Task Force (STF) at Sasthiraveli is located in the area.

The STF has been blamed the last phase of the war in the late nineties for a large number of disappearances in Amparai district. During the eighties it was blamed for several massacres in Batticaloa district also.

In the past the Tigers were also blamed for targeting Muslim homeguards who were supporting the Sri Lankan forces’ counter-insrugency efforts. The Tigers were also blamed for reprisal massacres against Muslims after Home Guards massacred Tamil villagers.

 

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