By Chris Kamalendran
The Jaffna peninsula was tense yesterday as some
angry residents took to the streets to protest against the killing
of two youths in Velvettithurai. As the protesters became unruly,
security forces fired shots into the air and closed the A-9 road
at Muhamalai. Police said a youth who was hit by a bullet was rushed
transport services came to a standstill while shops and other businesses
remained shut. Angry protesters burnt tyres and pelted stones at
security forces and the police when they tried to bring the situation
claimed that the two youths were playing football when two soldiers
in civvies wearing full-face helmets arrived at the scene and opened
fire. However, military spokesman Daya Ratnayake has denied the
commander Maj. General Sunil Tennakoon said the two youths were
killed in a crossfire when two LTTE cadres fired at an EPDP member
who was watching the football match. He said the LTTE was now trying
to blame the Army for the killing.
killing of the youths in the birthplace of LTTE leader Velupillai
Prabhakaran took place a few hours after LTTE's Jaffna political
leader Illamparithy met Jaffna Security Forces commander Sunil Tennekoon
to discuss the security situation. The killings have also marred
celebrations being organised to mark the 50th birthday of the LTTE
a related development, yesterday's Budget debate was suspended when
TNA members took to the well to protest against the Valvettithurai
killings after TNA leader R. Sampanthan was refused permission to
make a statement.
Parliamentary Group leader Wimal Weerawansa objected to special
statements being made during Budget debates and UNP MP Gayantha
Karunathilake who was in the Chair agreed.
infuriated by this decision, the TNA members took to the well, demanding
that the Army should be pulled out of Jaffna and the killers be
brought to justice. Amidst pandemonium, sittings were suspended
for ten minutes.