Sri Lanka's former war-torn north shut down over killing of 2 students

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/10/25 14:57:16

Sri Lanka's former war-torn north remained shut down on Tuesday, following the deadly shooting of two university students in Jaffna last week.

Roads remained deserted as people took part in a 'hartal', keeping shops and schools closed, in order to protest against the death of the university students.

Northern Provincial Council member, M.K. Sivajilingam told Xinhua that only emergency medical units were functioning on Tuesday morning while Jaffna town remained entirely closed.

"We will continue this hartal till late Tuesday, as a form of protest against the shooting of the two university students. We want justice and we want the state to end discrimination against the Tamils," Sivajilingam said.

The two youth were shot dead by the police after they reportedly failed to stop when ordered to do so by the police in Kankasanturai, in the north, last week.

Five police officers were arrested over the incident and were immediately interdicted and were remanded by court.

President Maithripala Sirisena last week called for an impartial investigation into the death of the two youth. Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigations Department is conducting investigations.

Sivajilingam said that Jaffna University had been closed following the shooting and it would remain closed untill they have received an assurance from the president on the safety of the students.

"The students have already handed over the letters to the Government Agent to be handed over to the President (Maithripala Sirisena) and Prime Minister (Ranil Wickremesinghe). They want justice," Sivajilingam said.

On Monday, university students protested along the A9 highway in the north against the shootings and later handed over a petition to the president and prime minister.

Sri Lanka's north was one of the worst affected by the island's 30 year civil war between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels which ended in May 2009 with the defeat of the rebels.

While the war affected the entire country, the north suffered the worst because it was the rebels' headquarters and the focus of the government's offensive.


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