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Sri Lankan police block Amparai Tamil families of the disappeared from joining Batticaloa protest

Sri Lankan security officials halted a bus that was carrying Tamil members of the families of the disappeared from Amparai and interrogated them, before eventually preventing them from attending a protest in solidarity with farmers in Batticaloa on Sunday.

The family members were on their way to join protest in Mayilathamadu, with livestock farmers protesting the encroachment of their grazing land by the Mahaweli Authority for new settlements.

However, they were halted at the Kallady bridge and subjected to questioning from 9 a.m. until noon, preventing them from joining the demonstration.

The incident occurred as Sri Lankan police came under criticism for their harsh response to the ongoing farmers' protest, including violent attacks on the protestors. Simultaneously, there has been a double standard in the treatment of counter-protests, such as one led by Sinhala Buddhist monk Ampitiya Sumanarathna, a monk known for making violent and racist remarks. 

A spokesperson for the Amparai chapter of the families of the disappeared told reporters that the double standard employed by state authorities, once again, only goes to highlight the legitimacy of their call upon the international community to intervene to provide justice.

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