Tamils in Batticaloa observed a hartal, a business-strike, in protest of the appointment of former UPFA MP M. L. A. M. Hizbullah as governor of the Eastern Province.
Organisers of the protest said that Hizbullah, a pro-Rajapaksa politician who is being investigated for corruption, was unfit to to represent the Eastern Province.
Locals have also accused Hizbullah of exacerbating inter-community tensions in the East during his time in the Eastern Provincial Council.
The hartal saw Batticaloa town and other Tamil-majority towns in the district shut down on Friday with local and national businesses such as banks closed.
There were also reports of tyre burnings in some areas.