Shops and offices remained closed and vehicles stayed off the streets during a bandh in Jaffna called by Tamil National Alliance to mourn the slaying of their leader and former Mayor of the troubled peninsula, Nadarajah Raviraj, who was cremated there on Wednesday.
The streets were virtually empty as vehicles were off the roads as people of Jaffna paid their respects to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader who was cremated at his constituency of Chavakachcheri under tight security, officials said.
There were similar hartals or bandhs witnessed in the eastern districts of Batticaloa and Tamil areas of Trincomalee, they said.
Soldiers carried the coffin and escorted it out of the high security zone of the Palaly military complex at the northern edge of the Jaffna peninsula before handing over Raviraj's body to the mourners.
The body of the lawyer-turned-Member of Parliament, who was shot dead in Colombo on Friday last, was on Tuesday flown from the capital to Palaly for his last rites.
Raviraj's bereaved family had asked the Sri Lankan government to allow them to transport his body along the main road to Jaffna.
However, the government turned it down citing security considerations and instead gave two transport planes to take the body there.
Raviraj was a personal friend of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Although his party was seen as a proxy of Tamil Tiger guerrillas, he was regarded as a moderate who had never taken up arms.