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Militarised New Year celebrations begin in Poonakari

In the face of repeated calls for the military to withdraw itself from civilian activities, the Sri Lankan army decided to hold an event to mark the upcoming Tamil and Sinhala New Year in Poonakari last week.

Hundreds of Sri Lankan soldiers were present at the Old Dutch Fort grounds last week, where they put on a musical show in Tamil and Sinhalese, to the Tamil civilian audience.Since the Sri Lankan military has occupied the North-East it has continued to hold events to mark the New Year, despite calls from Tamil civil society and politicians for the military to withdraw from civilian life.