SLA assault on VC, Arts Dean worrisome sign - NPC

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 December 2005, 11:02 GMT]
National Peace Council (NPC), a Colombo based NGO, in a Media release issued on Wednesday condemned the security forces for attacking non-violent protests of students and staff of Jaffna campus, including Vice Chancellor and the Dean of Arts. The violence began when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers attacked the students marching to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) offices against the killing of Ilyathamby Tharsini (20) in Punguduthivu near an Sri Lanka Navy post. Postmortem examination has revealed that Tharsini was raped before being strangled to death.

Full text of the media release follows:

Government and LTTE need to resume local level meetings to stem escalation of violence


The assault on the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna, Prof. Mohandas, the Dean of Arts Prof. Sivachandran and senior faculty members of the university staff while leading a student march in Jaffna is a tragic and worrisome sign of the continuing deterioration in the situation that prevails in the north east. The students and faculty were on their way to the office of the international monitors of the SLMM to non-violently hand over a petition protesting against the conduct of the military in recent times. While a state of Emergency prevails in the country, the National Peace Council affirms that civilian protests must not be dealt with in a violent manner in a society that upholds democratic values and seeks to reject violent alternatives.

The deterioration in conditions of peaceful life in Jaffna follows several acts of violence that have led to serious loss of life in the last few weeks. These include the killing of two civilians associated with the LTTE‚s Heroes Day celebrations, several incidents of grenade throwing targeting Sri Lankan security personnel, the killing of 15 soldiers through landmines and the recent brutal rape and murder of a young woman in close proximity to a navy camp in Jaffna. These incidents have contributed to and fed into the escalation of tension in Jaffna. The National Peace Council condemns these acts of violence, rape and killings and calls on the government and LTTE to ensure that such actions by their members are stopped forthwith and not tolerated any more. We welcome President Mahinda Rajapakse‚s appointment of a committee of inquiry to provide a report on the most recent incident, which needs to be followed up and the perpetrators brought to justice expeditiously.

There is an immediate need for the government and LTTE to take steps to defuse and de-escalate the growing crisis that is making life harsh, fearful and alienating to the civilian population and to the security forces. We note that the Sri Lankan security forces have entered the University of Jaffna where there have been further clashes and yet another soldier has been shot dead in Jaffna. We urge the government and LTTE to recommence local level meetings that deal with security issues on the ground, with inclusion of other affected parties under the supervision of the international monitors. It is important to work out a system that ensures peaceful life at the community level while the peace process remains on hold. Without such a mechanism there can only be a rise in violence and tensions in the north east, which may lead to renewed armed hostilities that is to the detriment of everyone. A continuation on the present path will only bring more suffering and erode the gains achieved by all Sri Lankans since the 2002 ceasefire agreement.

Executive Director
On behalf of the Governing Council


Related Articles:
20.12.05   Tharsini raped before murder- Medical Report

 

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