Violence erupted at Pannala in Kurunegala on 7 February following a dispute in which a Sinhalese man was killed. Muslim men and women were attacked and houses damaged. Police fired on a mob killing three.
After an LTTE attack on 8 February, soldiers ran amok in Erlalai, seven miles north of Jaffna town, assaulting civilians. The Jaffna Commander has promised disciplinary action.
Over 70 government hospitals in Nuwara Eliya District were closed in protest in mid-February, accusing Ceylon Workers Congress General Secretary T Arumugam of assaulting a hospital worker in Hatton.
Colombo newspaper Sunday Times says that the Health Ministry denied permission for foreign medical agency Memisa Medicus Mundi (MMM) to serve in Mannar hospital. MMM made its offer after French agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) withdrew from Mannar in December 1998.
The UNDPís landmine removal programme in Jaffna is again delayed after the Defence Ministry withdrew a map of landmine locations. UNDP Landmines Coordinator David Taylor says the LTTE assured that new mines will not be laid in cleared zones.
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