Batticaloa shuts down for 'Annai' Poopathi anniversary

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 April 2001, 12:00 GMT]
Shops, government offices and businesses were closed Thursday in the Batticaloa district to mark the 13th anniversary of Poopathy Kanapathipillai, the woman who fasted unto death on 19 April 1988 during a month long mass protest against atrocities committed by the Indian army in the northern and eastern parts of the island at the time. Few people and fewer vehicles were on the roads. Special Task Force (STF) commandos forced shops to open in Kaluwanchikudi, 24 kilometers north of Batticaloa, sources said.

hartal-batti_190401_1.jpgThe Liberation Tigers put up posters commemorating Poopathy in the coastal parts of the district controlled by the STF and the Sri Lanka army. The STF killed Poopathy's two sons in 1986. A third son was arrested by the SLA and was imprisoned for three years at the time.

Slogans supporting the LTTE were spray painted on many parts of the coastal main road between Batticaloa and Valaichenai.

The SLA attempted to force open some shops in Batticaloa town this morning but gave up when the owners could not be found.

Token protest fasts were held in the LTTE controlled western sector of the district Thursday. The Liberation Tigers will address a public rally this afternoon to commemorate the martyr, sources said.

poopathy-memorial_navalady.jpg
Annai Poopathy's unmarked memorial in Navalady, a coastal village on the outskirts of Batticaloa town. (Photo: TamilNet)

 

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