Sri Lanka breaks up Tamil remembrance of war dead

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Armed troops broke up Tamil memorials for Sri Lanka’s civil war dead and beat up journalists covering one ceremony in a former battle zone, residents and media organisations said Monday.

Grieving relatives were forced out of cemeteries on the weekend as they attempted to light lamps at graves of loved ones who died in the island’s decades-long conflict, which ended in 2009.

The Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Unions said Tamil journalists covering a memorial in Mullaittivu, a northeastern fishing town where the war’s final battle was fought, were assaulted by troops.

“Soldiers used a palm stick wrapped with barbed wire to assault a photojournalist covering the events,” the media outfit said in a statement.

It added that reporters in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, where the island’s minority Tamil community is concentrated, have been subject to “constant harassment” by security authorities.—AFP

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