Lankan army storm Tamil party meeting: TNA

Sri Lankan map
Colombo, Jun 18: Sri Lanka's main Tamil party TNA on Friday, June 17 accused the military of storming its meeting and assaulting lawmakers and their supporters in the northern Jaffna peninsula.

Troops carrying automatic weapons as well as sticks broke up the TNA meeting at Alaveddi in Jaffna on Thursday night, the party said, adding that an officer led the team of 30 soldiers carried out the attack.

Several TNA members of parliament were beaten up by the troops who also attacked the police bodyguards assigned to the opposition law makers, the TNA said in a statement, adding that they have complained to the police.

The party was holding the meeting to discuss the local government elections scheduled for July 23 when they were attacked by troops who accused them of being an unlawful assembly.

"While the meeting was in progress some"While the meeting was in progress some army personnel entered the hall and gave orders to stop the meeting," the statement said.

It said a TNA lawmaker, M. A. Sumanthiran walked upto an officer who seemed to be in the rank of a major and spoke to him and was told that the meeting could not proceed since they had no police permission.

"While he was explaining that this was an internal party meeting that did not require any police permission and that in any case that was a matter between the police and us and not the military, several soldiers in full uniform, carrying automatic weapons and long poles in their hands, rushed into the hall and started assaulting the people," the party said.

There was no immediate comment from the government, but military spokesman Ubaya Medawela said he had no information, but referred the query to the police. He said the police were investigating the matter. 


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