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Sri Lankan Military Imposes Curfew to Prevent Protest

  • VOA News

Sri Lankan military authorities have imposed a curfew in the northern Jaffna district ahead of a demonstrations called to protest Friday's killings carried out by security forces.

The curfew was announced Sunday. The rally was to have been held Monday to protest the deaths of seven men the army says were Tamil Tiger rebels who tried to attack a military checkpoint.

The Tiger rebels said those killed were civilians.

The curfew announcement coincides with Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi's talks with Sri Lanka's government to try to renew a shaky ceasefire.

Akashi met Sunday with the head of the government's peace secretariat (Palitha Kohona) and will meet Monday with President Mahinda Rajapakse.

A Tamil spokesman said Akashi will see rebel political leader S. P. Thamilselvan on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has started a two-day visit to India to discuss the island nation's troubled peace process.

India has supported Sri Lanka's efforts to end its civil war, but New Delhi has refrained from sending troops to its southern neighbor since intervening in the 1980s. At the time, India sent peacekeeping forces to Tamil-held regions, but the troops ended up fighting the rebels, and more than one thousand Indian soldiers were killed.
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