Sunday, December 04, 2005

Jaffna at boiling point

Tensions continued to flair on Sunday between civilians and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) which has been occupying the Jaffna district for almost 10 years.

Civilian sources claim that the SLA atrocities have increased several folds since the election victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his extremist SLFP-JVP-JHU alliance.

In the days following the election several civilians were mercilessly attacked by the SLA and EPDP thugs who operate with the aid of the SLA.

Several killings took place in the Kytes, Point Pedro and Neervely areas of the peninsula. All incidents were reported to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM)

It has emerged that while the SLMM lacked the teeth to bring normalcy to the peninsula by halting the atrocities, the civilians and especially the youth have took matters in to their own hands.

The final pull of the straw came on Thursday when a SLA assassination squad murdered two farmers and injured another at a tea shop in Neervely for having put up decorations to celebrate the National Heroes Day, claimed a civilian organisation in Jaffna.

Agitated civilians, held a general shut down protest on Friday. Unknown persons have also been throwing grenades and opening small arms fire into some of the several hundred checkpoints set up by the SLA. They in turn have been responding in classic fashion by opening fire at anyone and everyone on site. Several civilians have been injured as a result mindless firing by the SLA.

The tit-for-tat violence continued across the peninsula on Sunday. Local residents have reported hearing gunfire in the Neervely area. Residents from all across the district have complained about the numerous number of road blocks being set up by the SLA. All vehicles travelling on the A9 (Jaffna-Kandy Road) are being combed by the SLA for several hours. Youth are being arrested at random, with some also suffering abuse. Meanwhile the SLMM has issued a request to the Government of Sri Lanka and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to use their influence to try and put an end to the vicious cycle of violence.

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