Curfew lifted in troubled eastern town

[TamilNet, Sunday, 30 June 2002, 12:39 GMT]
The four-day long curfew clamped in general area of Valaichenai - Oddamavadi 32 kilometres north of Batticaloa was lifted Tuesday morning. Tamil traders and businessmen were Monday permitted to see the gutted remains of their shops and buildings in the Valaichenai bazaar. The area has been under curfew since Friday 28 June.

"We are ruined irredeemably because insurance companies do not pay for such calamities in the northeast," said a trader whose shop near the Sri Lanka army's camp in the Valaichenai fisheries harbour.

"The large Tamil residential areas behind the Valaichenai bazaar would have been looted and burnt too if the Tamil paramilitary group working with the Sri Lanka army in the area had not acted promptly to drive back the armed mobs of Islamic extremists who were on the rampage," he said.

Tamils charge that the Police was actively involved in aiding the Islamic extremists to set fire and destroy the Tamil quarter of the eastern town during curfew hours last Friday night.

(Photo below left:) Discussion between Tamil community leaders and traders, affected by the violence in Valaichenai and a motorcycle burnt during the curfew (right).

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Tamil shop owners inspecting gutted remains of their shops in the Valaichenai bazaar.

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Tamil shops and buldings burnt by Islamic extremists in the Valaichenai bazaar during curfew imposed by Sri Lanka Police.

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The Valaichenai Pradhesiya Sabha (local government body) building burnt by Islamic extremists. (Photo:TamilNet)


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