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Army bans temple events and public gatherings in Jaffna, Kili and Mullaitivu

The Sri Lankan army has issued a ban on temple events and public gatherings in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts, intended to commemorate those that died in Mullivaikkal, the Uthayan reported.

Disrupting the annual temple festival taking place at Vairavar temple near Koppai teaching school yesterday, the Sri Lankan army entered yesterday, and ordered the temple officials to stop the festival. The army declared that no prayers should take place on May 17 or 18.

Over the past two weeks a number of military officials have released statements prohibiting any act of public remembrance.

Yesterday, police disrupted a commemorate event held outside the Northern Provincial Council office by councillors, M.K. Shivajilingham and Ananthy Sasitharan. Rushing in as a the lamp of remembrance was being lit, the police pushed it to the floor before stamping out the flame.

The military have warned any attempt to mourn the death of LTTE cadre would lead to arrests.

According to the Uthayan, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) and students at the University of Jaffna are all planning to hold events to mark five years since tens of thousands of Tamils died in Mullivaikkal.

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