TamilNet,19 May 2011
Sri Lanka Army soldiers on Thursday rounded up the mourners who were taking part in prayers at Kalaith-thoothu Hall in Jaffna, remembering thousands of their kith and kin slain in the genocidal war in Vanni in 2009.
The armed soldiers of the occupying military that entered the premises blocked the mourners from leaving the building when the last program, a violin play, ended at 5:30 p.m., according to M K Sivajilingam of Tamil National Liberation Front and Sritharan MP of Tamil National Alliance.
Tamil politicians of TNA, TNLF, Saiva and Catholic priests, various civil society representatives and the public were gathered at the hall which belongs to Thirumalaik Kalaa Man’ram.
Expressing the sorrow state of freedom of speech, the mourners avoided speeches at the event and only conducted prayers and played violin music.
The event began at 4:00 p.m. and ended peacefully at 5:30 p.m.
The SLA soldiers who stormed the hall at 5:30 p.m. were holding the mourners at gunpoint within the premises saying that their higher ranking military officers were on their way to ‘inspect’ the mourners.
The soldiers left after keeping the mourners inside for almost an hour.
The organisers of the event said they were blocked from securing a hall on Wednesday due to military harassments and had to postpone the prayer to Thursday.