2ND LEAD

Muslims want STF out of Pottuvil

[TamilNet, Monday, 18 September 2006, 15:03 GMT]
Blaming the elite Special Task Force (STF) for the killings of 10 young Muslim men, the Muslim community in Pottuvil is demanding the unit be transferred out, the BBC reported. Earlier angry protestors stoned STF and police vehicles, rejecting Sri Lankan government accusations the Tamil Tigers were responsible for the killings near the Yala game reserve. Sri Lanka's police chief, Inspector-General Chandra Fernando is now in the eastern Amparai district for talks with senior Muslim politicians, the BBC also reported.

The BBC's correspondent Dumeetha Luthra in Amparai district reported that locals say there has been friction between the Muslim community and the Sri Lankan security forces.

She found that many in the town accuse the STF of the killings, and now want the local police unit transferred immediately, along with a full investigation.

"Special Task Force (STF) troops killed these people," Muslim M.S. Mohedeen, told Reuters earlier as around 2,000 people, including women and children, gathered around the Periya Pallivasal mosque in the eastern town of Pottuvil where the bodies were laid out and incense burned to mask the stench of death.

"We don't blame anyone else," he added. "The LTTE can't come into this area. It is completely controlled by the STF. Without the STF's knowledge, no one can come into this area."

AFP also quoted local residents as telling reporters that the police commandos were at loggerheads with locals and holding the security forces responsible.

Soon after the massacre, the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry blamed the LTTE, saying: “the Tiger terrorists have massacred 11 Muslim civilians who had gone to repair an anicut.”

The LTTE denied the accusation and condemned the massacre.

"The LTTE notes that this is a Sri Lankan government controlled area and a Sri Lankan military camp is stationed near the location of the massacre," the LTTE said in a statement on its Peace Secretariat website.

"The Sri Lankan military is adopting its long tradition of blaming the LTTE for the atrocities it commits," the statement added, pointing to the massacre of 17 aid workers in August which the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) blamed on Sri Lankan troops.

In the face of public anger over the massacres, Inspector-General Fernando said the friction with the locals was over police cracking down on illegal logging in neighbouring forests.

"It is too early to point a finger," AFP quoted Fernando as telling the residents.

 

Latest 15 Reports
10.07.20 00:05   Photo
SL Police harasses Shivajilingam at 25th Remembrance of Navaali massacre in Jaffna
09.07.20 09:33  
SL Navy brutally assaults Tamil fishers in Mullaith-theevu
08.07.20 16:33   Photo
Sinhala colonists encroach into Kangku-veali, Mean-kamam reservoirs in Trincomalee
07.07.20 19:36   Photo
Colombo schemes to expand ilmenite scooping into North from Pulmoaddai in East
06.07.20 19:06  
Colombo transfers Tamil Political Prisoners to notorious Anuradhapura prison
05.07.20 23:06   Photo
University students, Shivajilingam brave SL harassment to commemorate fallen Black Tigers
04.07.20 22:28   Photo
Monk commanding Sinhala-Buddhicisation of North-East threatens Tamil villagers in Batticaloa
03.07.20 19:28   Photo
After Naavat-kuzhi, Colombo targets Poonakari for Sinhala colonisation across Jaffna lagoon
02.07.20 22:26  
Colombo imposes restrictions on Tamil valour related symbolism in schools of North
01.07.20 13:22  
New secret unit among four SL military and police squads competing to arrest Tamil youth in North
30.06.20 22:10  
Tamils blocked from accessing properties near SL Navy training base in Champoor, Trincomalee
29.06.20 23:29   Photo
Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils
28.06.20 22:06  
India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat
27.06.20 22:11  
Indo-Pacific expert wants US to seek opportunities in ‘Sri Lanka’
26.06.20 21:24  
Russia steps up influence on New Delhi to uphold “multilateralism” against US “rules-based order”
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=19636