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Sri Lankan police fire shots in Jaffna as EPDP member arrested

Sri Lankan police officers reportedly fired shots in the air in Jaffna last week, as an Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) member and two others were arrested after a traffic stop in Urelu.

According to Sri Lankan police reports, two men on a motorcycle were stopped by police for driving recklessly on Monday when a third man, allegedly an EPDP Pradeshiya Sabha member arrived at the scene and began to challenge the police officers.

The Sri Lankan police claimed the officer then “fired two shots into the air as a warning”, stating that the EPDP member’s interference went “overboard”.

The EPDP member and the two motorists were subsequently arrested on charges of obstruction.

The following day, the Jaffna Magistrate's Court ordered that all three individuals, including the Pradeshiya Sabha member be remanded until the 11th of October.

The incident has led to heightened tensions in the Urelu neighbourhood, which is situated in the highly militarised Jaffna peninsula. The EPDP, a paramilitary organisation and political party which is also accused of several crimes and rights abuses, also maintains a significant presence in the region.

The clash with the security forces comes despite the EPDP maintaining close ties to the Sri Lankan regime, with leader Douglas Devananda a minister in the Sri Lankan government.

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