Ceylon emerged yesterday(10 April) from several days of curfew during which security forces made an all-out effort to break up the bands of armed insurgents which have been threatening the stability of the island since mid-March.
GV Colombo main street with traffic & pedestrians
MV PAN Crowd queuing outside co-operative store
SV Two police, one with rifle, PAN TO street traffic
STV Bullock cart
TV Street scene
SVs Police checking car (3 shots)
MV More armed police along street
GV PAN Kelaniya River bridge leading to suburbs
MV & SV Car being checked and luggage unloaded (2 shots)
SV & GV Police searching bus
Initials SGM/0347 SGM/0412
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Background: Ceylon emerged yesterday(10 April) from several days of curfew during which security forces made an all-out effort to break up the bands of armed insurgents which have been threatening the stability of the island since mid-March.
During the curfew, all work had to finish by noon, so employees could be home by 1500 hours. Between then and 0600 no-one was allowed to leave home.
As well as severely disrupting normal life, the curfew made it impossible for Visnews cameraman P.U. Pathirana to deliver this film to the airport - hence the delay. During the period of the emergency, film coverage has been ruled out by strict censorship.
This is the first film to reach us since the emergency began.
The Sinhalese people celebrate New year on 13 April, and the curfew made it difficult for them to buy provisions for the festival, a point the film illustrates.
SYNOPSIS: Ceylon is getting back to normal after several days of curfew and a continuing state of emergency. During the curfew there were long queues at stores as people stocked up for April 13th, the Sinhalese New Year. Security forces were making a show of strength on the streets of the capital, Colombo, but there was no other evidence of the insurrection which has swept the country since mid-march. The police were taking no chances, however, and all vehicles coming into the city were being searched at gun-point.
Similar searches were taking place in the suburbs across the Kelaniya River. More than 100 insurgents are reported to have been killed in recent days as they attacked police stations in an apparent bid to take over the country. Several hundred more are said to have been arrested.