Stones pelted at army bus during hartal

Mullaitivu police are inquiring into an incident where stones were thrown at a Vavuniya bound bus carrying army personnel during Thursday’s hartal in the Northern and eastern districts.

Army Spokesman Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne confirmed the incident.

A glass of the bus was broken but troops didn’t suffer injuries. War ravaged districts observed a shutdown after the Tamil and Muslim political parties held a protest demanding the release of military-held land.

Offices, businesses, schools and public transport came to a halt after the two provinces observed a shutdown.

"We hope the government would respond after this protest. All Tamil and Muslim political parties in these areas are observing the protest," Northern Provincial Councillor MK Shivajilingam. said.

In some Muslim-dominated areas in the eastern province, life remained normal with all services operating.

The Tamil and Muslim parties in the North-East are pressuring the government to release the lands that are still held by the military, justice to the disappeared persons and provide employment to the war-battered.

"People have been protesting now for over two months yet the government has failed to address the issue," Shivajilingam said.

Some of the lands held over three decades have been released since 2015. But Tamils complain of slow progress.

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