STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Lanka's Tamil parties protest in north and east provinces

Relatives of the missing people had alleged that the Lankan state - particularly its army, navy and police - were behind most of the disappearances.

Published: 27th April 2017 11:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2017 11:24 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

COLOMBO:  Major towns in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northern and eastern provinces today observed a complete shutdown after the Tamil and Muslim political parties staged a protest demanding the military-occupied land be released to the owners.

Offices, businesses, schools and public transport came to a halt after the two provinces observed a shutdown. "We hope the government would respond after looking at this protest action.

All Tamil and Muslim political parties in these areas are observing the protest," MK Shivajilingam, a hardline Tamil provincial councillor from the Tamil-dominated northern province said. In some Muslim-dominated areas in the eastern province, life remained normal with all services operating.

The Tamil and Muslim people in the North-East are demanding the government to release the lands that are still occupied by the military, justice to the disappeared persons and provide employment to the war-battered. "People have been protesting now for over two months yet the government has failed to address the issue," Shivajilingam said.

Some of the lands held over three decades have been released since 2015. But Tamils complain of slow progress. Commenting on the protest yesterday, government spokesman and Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne said the relatives of the disappeared people in some cases had provided photographic evidence that they had been seen under government care since the end of the conflict in 2009. "We will investigate such cases but we are unable to issue death certificates in respect of the disappeared as we have no proof," Senaratne said.

In August last year, Sri Lanka's Parliament has unanimously approved a bill to set up an office to help find some 65,000 people reported missing during the country's civil war with the LTTE (1983-2009), and clarify the circumstances under which they disappeared.

Relatives of the missing people had alleged that the Lankan state - particularly its army, navy and police - were behind most of the disappearances. Many Lankan soldiers and LTTE cadres who had surrendered before the government troops were also among the missing.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp