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KATHANKUDI MUSLIMS COMMEMORATE THE DEATHS OF 130 OF THEIR TOWN MASSACRED BY TAMIL TIGERS AMIDST CONTINUED EXTORTIONS
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles

Amidst continued tensions created by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam among the Muslims by targeting them for endless extortions hundreds of Muslims in the Kathankudi town commemorated the twelfth anniversary of the mosque massacre perpetrated on them by the Tamil rebel group, security sources said.

This Muslim town about six kilometers South East of Batticaloa on August 03 commemorated the 130 people who were gunned down by the LTTE rebels exactly 12 years ago while praying in their village mosque in implementing what is described as ethnic cleansing by the Tamil rebels .

The Muslims while being engaged in prayers were assassinated by armed LTTE men on August 3, 1990 in the Kathankudi mosque and the mass murder by the LTTE is regarded as one of the biggest massacres of Muslims in one place.

All shops and business places in Kathankudi town remained closed to support the commemoration.

Some black flags also appeared in the area.

Meanwhile the general lawlessness regarding extortions by the LTTE against the Muslims remained unchecked in the Eastern Province while they alleged the Sri Lanka government had become helpless to protect its own citizens.

Four weapons carried by Muslim Home Guards had been forcibly taken by a group of armed LTTE cadres in Katuwanwila, about eight kilometers from Welikanda, August 2, for extortion purposes. The LTTE demanded 15,000 Rupees if they wanted the weapons back. A complaint to the Police said the victims M.Meerasaibu, A.Pareed, M.Nasser, and N.Rahim of Katuwanwila had to pay the ransom on the same day to get their weapons released.

A complaint has also been made to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Batticaloa regarding this.

Another complaint said the LTTE had demanded Muslim cattle farm owners in Katuwanwila to pay a ransom of 5000 Rupees each, August 2.

The armed Tamil rebels said if the money were not paid before August 25 2002 the amount would be increased to 20,000 Rupees each.

The complaint of the victims, identified as A.L.Mohamed, S. Farool, A.Rasak, N. Ismail, A. Mohambadu, A.L.Addu Salam, M.Majeeth, A.Gadafi, M.lafir, S.Junaid, B.Adambabu and A.badurdeen has also been forwarded to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Batticaloa.

Another complaint from Santhiveli 20 kilometers North West of Batticaloa said armed LTTE cadres hijacked the lorry with registration number 42-7275 transporting cement and dry fish from Trincomalee to Kalmunai and robbed of all its goods.

The LTTE is greatly interested in cement, the sources said, to build military bunkers. The complaint said, the lorry with the goods had been received at the LTTE office in the Thommaturai area but had been unloaded at an unidentified place.

The complaint further revealed the empty lorry, with Rupees 97,500 worth of goods missing was handed over to the driver one day later, August 3 2002.

Another complaint from Sevanapitiya area said LTTE armed cadres took away a hand tractor while the owner was collecting firewood in the area of Kalukuttige Wewa, August 2. The LTTE demanded 50,000 Rupees for the return of the tractor.

Under the ceasefire agreement reached between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran the extortions are not intervened by the Police or the Security Forces. They are only referred to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission with the victims receiving no consolation, complaints reveal. (EOM)

(02/08/06 go2lanka.com)

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