Colombo insults Jaffna University students’ struggle for justice

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 October 2016, 22:59 GMT]
Student leaders at the University of Jaffna have sent back a letter they received from Colombo’s colonial governor to North Mr Reginald Cooray. The student federation activists told TamilNet on Thursday that Mr Cooray had sent them a reply in Sinhala language to their appeals, which were addressed to SL President and SL Prime Minister and handed over to the representative, Mr Cooray, during the protest in Jaffna on Monday. If Tamil is accorded a status as official language in the island, why is Mr Cooray responding in Sinhala to the Tamil students in Jaffna, the student leaders asked. Mr Cooray was earlier taking the side of Sinhala students who triggered off an ethnic motivated confrontation at the Jaffna University.

In the meantime, SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe’s intelligence commandos were roaming the streets of Jaffna and Ki’linochchi in white vans during the nights chasing away the students who were standing near the house of one of the slain students at Chunnaakam, the student leaders further said.

The student leaders said the response from SL Governor and the SL Police in the aftermath of the killings have come in an ethnic oriented manner.

“The students were strictly censored by those who guided them in the protest to not shout slogans against the systemic genocidal institutions of the SL State. Our demands were formulated to be compatible to the paradigm of the new regime itself and their outside masters. But, the leaders of the SL regime and their representatives and the police system have again failed to honour our requests. If the slain students were Sinhalese and the crime scene was somewhere in South, the behaviour of SL ministers and the system would have been completely different,” a student leader said adding that the SL Police was operating with a systemic revenge mind-set.

In addition to assaulting students and young men at Aaanaik-koaddai and in Chunnaakam and confronting the protesting Tamils at Ki’linochchi, the Sinhala Police has arrested a 37-year-old family man blaming him for disturbing policing activity at Ki’linochchi.

This is not different to the approach shown at Arippu in Mannaar where the Sinhala police was protecting the criminal conduct of the SL Navy, the student leaders further said.

The student leaders have also come under criticism for denying space for grassroots-oriented Tamil politicians to take part in the processions and protests.



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