Soldiers traveling in a truck behind the jeep dismounted to help their colleagues.
They were ambushed by a group of Tamil Tiger fighters who fired at them with automatic weapons and hurled grenades at them. The Army, including its Commander Tissa Weeratunga, didn't want the soldiers' funerals to be held in Jaffna.
During the colonial period, many Sri Lankan Tamils, particularly those from the Jaffna peninsula, took advantage of educational facilities established by missionaries.
They were also benefited by the British policy of divide and rule, which placed minorities in positions of power in colonies and soon dominated the civil service and other professions.
Violence broke out between the crowd and police, and the riot squad was summoned.
The riot squad fired tear gas at the crowd and baton-charged them before handing control of the situation over to the Army.
The elected leaders saw this as the result of a British stratagem to control the majority Sinhalese, and they deemed it a situation that needed correction.Until 1983, there were similar incidents of low level violence between the government and the mushrooming Tamil militant groups.There were many murders, disappearances, and cases of torture attributed to both sides.In 1956 the Official Language Act, commonly known as the Sinhala Only Act, was introduced.Up until that time English, spoken by only five percent of the population, had been the sole official language." The use of Sinhala, spoken by 75 percent, and Tamil, spoken by 25 percent, was severely restricted.
The President then decided to cancel the military funeral and hand the bodies over to the families.