|Life returns to normal in Akkaraipattu
Mohamed Rasshid in Digamadulla
A hartal to protest against the kidnapping by a group of unknown persons, but suspected to be LTTE activists, brought civil administration in this eastern town to a standstill.
As the abducted youth, Seeni Mohamed Abdul Wajeed, a resident of Akkaraipattu, was found in his house by the police last Thursday night, the LTTE had told Muslim leaders that they were in no way involved in the abduction.
Recalling LTTE atrocities against the Muslims in the past, protesting Muslims described the Tigers as "untrustworthy" and refused to believe they were not involved in the kidnapping.
The LTTE requested the Muslims to call off their hartal and not to fall prey to sinister elements trying to destabilise the peace process.
TULF parliamentarian A. Chandraneru urged Muslim peace committees to work towards reconciliation as unity and amity between the two communities must be maintained. The Muslim youth was abducted early last week by some armed unknown persons who came in a van sans number plates.
A CID investigation is now underway to determine the identity of those involved in the kidnapping, police said.
No violent incidents were reported during the hartal by Muslims at Akkaraipattu though the situation remained tense, police said.
On the instructions of the prime minister, Interior Ministry secretary M. N. Junaid along with senior police officials, visited the troubled region and met all members of communities in Akkaraipattu, Nintavur, Atalachenai, Kalmunai and Sammanthurai in an effort to bring back normalcy.
Asked whether there was any truth in the LTTEs claim that the youth was abducted by the EPDP in connivance with a Muslim politician, Akkaraipattu OIC Jayantha Ratnayake declined to comment as a CID probe is now in progress.
Meanwhile, SLMC dissidents are in the process of organising what they term awareness meetings to explain their position on the on-going peace initiative.
SLMC parliamentarian M. H. M. Hariz, a one-time close associate and confidante of leader Rauf Hakeem, told one such meeting at Sainthamaruthu that Hakeems recent observations were devoid of objective thinking and thus unfavourable to the Muslims, especially in the North-East.
"All our actions are aimed at safeguarding the identity and integrity of Muslims. We rejected Ferial Ashraff and crowned Hakeem as the leader. If our aspirations are not fulfilled, we can not only throw out Hakeem but also the UNF government", he warned.
|POLITICS | DEFENCE | FEATURES | OPINION | BUSINESS | LEISURE | EDITORIAL | CARTOON | SPORTS|