Massacre survivor dies, Amparai shuts down

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 03:46 GMT]
Muslim community leaders were summoned in Pottuvil Tuesday morning as the only survivor and the eyewitness to the massacre was reported dead Monday night. The eyewitness, M. Meeramohideen, 55, was blocked by the Sri Lankan armed forces at a checkpost and redirected elsewhere "on orders from Colombo," from being transferred to Kalmunai Ashraf Memorial Hospital for treatment by Muslim doctors, the community leaders charged. Meanwhile, Tamil speaking people in Amparai district were observing a shut down protest over the massacre where 10 Muslim youths were butchered to death Monday early morning.

The patient was redirected to Monaragala hospital by Sri Lankan armed forces personnel manning the checkpost at Karaithivu, sources said.

Angry Muslim protestors in Pottuvil Monday stoned vehicles carrying Sri Lankan police and elite counter-insurgency Special Task Force (STF) troops, blaming them for the massacre of the civilians.

The protestors also demanded the STF unit out of the area and demanded a full investigation.

STF and Police fired several shots in the air in a bid to disperse the protestors.

The protestors rejected Sri Lankan government accusations the Tamil Tigers were responsible for the killings near the Yala National Park.

A training base of the Sri Lankan elite counter-insurgency Special Task Force (STF) at Sasthiraveli is located near the massacre site, Rattal Kulam.

The Muslim youth had gone to the Rattal Kulam to repair an anicut. The area is located in Lahugala division, a predominant Sinhala division, which was carved out of the Muslim dominated Pottuvil division.

Ethnic tensions in the area where Monday’s massacre took place 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.

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


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