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Sri Lankan police prevent community clear-up of destroyed LTTE cemetery in Mannar

Sri Lankan police in Mannar prevented former LTTE cadres and families of fallen LTTE cadres from clearing up an LTTE cemetery on Friday, causing friction between locals and police.

Former LTTE cadres and families of fallen LTTE were engaged in clearing up the Aadkaatti Veli Thuyilum Illam on Friday morning in a clean-up initiated by the Crusaders for Democracy Party in Mannar.

Tensions occurred when a team of police officers sent by the Adamban police chief arrived at the cemetery to stop the clean-up activities and tell those present to disperse.

The former cadres and family members of fallen cadres refused to leave, asserting that it was their democratic right to remember fallen LTTE martyrs.

The police said that no permission had been granted to clear the Thuyilum Illam, that the regional police authorities had not been informed of the scheme and so the activity could not be allowed to continue.

Following a tense confrontation between the locals and police, police allowed those present to hold a 5 minute vigil to Maaveerar, in an attempt to diffuse the situation.

The clean-up was initiated as part of commemorations to mark the opening of a Crusaders for Democracy Party Youth Wing headquarters in Mannar.