Sri Lanka’s former war zone shut over student killing

Colombo, Oct 25 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s former war-torn north remained shut on Tuesday following the shooting of two university students in Jaffna last week.

Roads were deserted while shops and schools were closed, Xinhua news agency reported.

Northern Provincial Council member M.K. Sivajilingam told Xinhua that only emergency medical units were functioning on Tuesday morning. Jaffna town remained entirely closed.

“We will continue this ‘hartal’ till late Tuesday as a form of protest against the shooting of the two students. We want justice and we want the state to end discrimination against the Tamils,” he said.

The two youths were shot dead by police after they reportedly failed to stop when ordered to do so at Kankesanthurai in Jaffna.

Five police officers were arrested over the incident and were immediately interdicted and remanded by court.

President Maithripala Sirisena last week called for an impartial investigation into the deaths.

Sivajilingam said Jaffna University had been closed following the shooting and it would remain shut until they get an assurance from the President on the safety of the students.

On Monday, university students protested along the A9 highway in the north against the shootings.

Sri Lanka’s north was one of the worst affected by the island’s long civil war between the military and Tamil Tigers which ended in May 2009 with the defeat of the rebels.