Protests in Jaffna Peninsula condemn SLA atrocities

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 August 2006, 08:36 GMT]
Protests against Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the Jaffna Peninsula are becoming widespread with people showing solidarity in their disapproval for the violence on innocent civilians perpetrated by the SLA. Student protests demanding removal of SLA presence near schools and other protests against SLA violence in Muttur and the killing of health care professionals, have increased in the last several days, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

Wide spread protests in the Jaffna

Many Protests are being held in Jaffna that decry civilian atrocities by SLA in Muttur. On another front, health care workers are protesting the death of their colleagues killed in a claymore mine attack by SLA in Nedunkerni. Also, support for student boycotts, protesting SLA presence near schools, are growing with students from many leading schools joining in the on-going protests, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

Hospital health care workers stopped work at 11 a.m Friday morning and protested for an hour carrying placards with slogans on the main hospital road condemning the killing of healthcare workers in a claymore mine attack in Nedunkerni allegedly perpetrated by members of the Deep Penetration Unit of the SLA, health care officials said.

Many workers from the Jaffna General Hospital and other government hospitals including those in Point Pedro, Chavakachcheri and Valvettithurai participated. Some workers picketed for an hour outside the offices of the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Ministry of Health, health officials said.

Wide spread protests in the Jaffna
Students from many leading schools in Jaffna including Jaffna Central College, Vembadi Girl’s High School, Jaffna Hindu College and Jaffna Hindu Ladies College, joined the protest Thursday by students of St Johns College and its sister school Chundukuli Girls High School. The students are calling for an end to Sri Lanka Army (SLA) occupation of their schools, and the immediate removal of SLA guard detachments and sentry posts situated in close proximity to their schools, student union members said.

Schools administrators inform that the schools remain closed as students boycotted classes. The support for the student protest is growing with more students joining their peers in demanding the immediate withdrawal of SLA from school premises. Students want be free from fear and harassment resulting from SLA presence in and around their schools which they say is causing disruption to their studies.

In a memorandum, the students from Jaffna Central College stressed that they want the police to vacate the areas close to their hostels. In addition they want the street in front of the school now blocked off by police to be reopened and want to be free of SLA presence and intimidation whilst classes are being conducted in the school.

Wide spread protests in the Jaffna
Amidst these developments, academics including Vice Chancellor Kumaravadivel, the Head of the Arts Faculty, Sivachardran, and Union Representative Kalaraj speaking at a meeting convened at the Kailasapathy Hall by the Student Union of the University of Jaffna presided over by its secretary Kohilaruban, condemned the killing of civilians by the SLA including the claymore attack that killed hospital health care workers in Nedunkerni and the cold blooded murder of ACF humanitarian workers in Muttur.

Strongly disapproving the war and the economic blockade imposed on the people by the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) they handed a petition to the officials to be given to Kofi Anan requesting him to ask the GoSL to stop the violence and harassment of Tamils in the NorthEast.

Wide spread protests in the Jaffna
Meanwhile, staff belonging to Action Against Hunger (Action Contre la Faim, ACF) along with members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) began a protest march starting at 2.00 p.m. from the office of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission at Nallur Sivan Temple Road. Ending their march at the Jaffna Secretariat office, they explained their demands to the government officials present at the Secretariat. Condemning the killings of their ACF colleagues which they said was perpetrated by the SL government troops, the protesters asked for an undertaking that that such atrocities would not be committed in the future.

In an incident Friday afternoon, a driver of “a crusher” equipment, Sivalingam Uthayakanthan, 26, was waylaid and killed by two gunmen in Chelvanagampuram in the Achuveli area.

Earlier Jeyachandran Theeparathan, 17, a senior student at a leading school was abducted allegedly by the SLA whilst he was training at a sports stadium in Uduvil. The parents of the abducted youth in their complaint to the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission have said that eye–witnesses saw their son being abducted by the SLA.

Wide spread protests in the Jaffna

 

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