2ND LEAD (Correction)

Thousands attend Jaffna Pongu Thamil rally, seek Army withdrawal

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 September 2005, 14:51 GMT]
An estimated two hundred thousand people attended the Tamil Resurgence celebrations in Jaffna Friday at Jaffna University Grounds, calling for the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) to vacate the Tamil homeland and declaring that the Tamils right to self-determination is non-negotiable. Speakers at the rally said the event recognizes the Vavuniya proclamation and condemned the one-sided punitive measures taken by the European Union against the Liberation Tigers.

The event began at 3 p.m.. Tamils from all parts of the Jaffna District and from districts of Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Batticalo, Amparai and Mannar had converged for the event and were seen fully participating in event activities, according to TamilNet correspondent.

Decorative archs were erected at many key locations in the Jaffna District with slogans upholding right to self determination inscribed on them. Red-yellow flags and banners were also seen along roads and houses.

Sri Lankan governemtn troops were deployed in large number in and around University area.

Jaffna Pongu Thamil Event
Jaffna Pongu Thamil Event
The Tamil Resurgence Torch was lit by Mr.Ganesh, Government Agent. Rev.Father Jacob Nicholos of the Catholic church, Bhramma Sri Chandrasekara Sharma, Moulavi Sahil , Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University Professor S.Mohanathas and Tamil National Alliance(TNA) senior parliamentarian Mr.Joseph Pararayasingham delivered the fecilition speeches.

All twenty two Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians led by Mr.R.Sampanthan, Leader of the Up country people's front(UPF) Mr.P.Chandrasekaran and Mr.Mano Ganeshan head of the Western Province People's Front(WPPF), Universitiy Lecturers and Educationists also participated in the event.

Jaffna Pongu Thamil Event
Jaffna Pongu Thamil Event
"Todays event is one in the chain of Tamil resurgence gathering following the Tamil Resurgence Convention held in Vavuniya July this year where the call for recognition and acceptence of Tamil Right to Self Determination was emphasized," observed Mr.Vijayaruban in his key note address to the gathering.

"The Colombo Government is shedding crocodile tears on the recruitment of children by the LTTE. However, in the 50 year history of Sinhala oppression of the Tamil people the state has been turning a blind eye on the problems faced by the Tamil children. Children of the south have received favoured treatment enjoying many rights and privileges which our children lack. We urge the International Community to closely study the real situation before reaching any conclusion on this matter," added Mr.Vijayaruban.

Jaffna Pongu Thamil Event

Participants demolished a large SLA soldiers mock recreation as symbolic event to highlight the feeling of the Tamil People. The students went on a procession denouncing the travel restrictions imposed on the Liberation Tigers by the European Union, sources attending the event said.

"Time has come for break away from unitary setup and to commence our journey towards self determination," was the theme repeatedly announced by the speakers at the rally. The speakers also called the International Community to desist from taking action that will strengthen the hands of the extreme Sinhala nationalists.

Preceding the event a widespread awareness campaign was carried out by the Students of Jaffna and Batticalo Universities and students of Jaffna schools to residents of the district explaning the urgency to display the combined strength of the Tamil people and demonstrating the unified demand for the Tamils right to self determination.

Jaffna Pongu Thamil Event

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