Western diplomats must act to free Jaffna University student leaders: Political Analyst

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 May 2019, 18:04 GMT]
The West needs to be reminded that the Tamil Christians were at the receiving end of the Easter Sunday most probably because the hierarchy of the Tamil National Alliance and the Tamil leaders, in general, had been explicitly leaning towards it after the end of the genocidal war in 2009. The unitary state in Colombo has now clamped down on the Tamil student leaders of the Jaffna University by deploying the Emergency Regulations totally out of proportions in a heavily politicised and chauvinistic manner using the situation after the Easter Sunday attacks, said Jaffna-based Senior Lawyer and Political Analyst S.A. Jothilingam on Thursday. His comments to TamilNet come a day after the Magistrates’ Court in Jaffna was unable to act on the release of the students as their release required explicit action by the SL Attorney General under the Emergency provisions.

Therefore, the Western countries have a moral responsibility to demand the SL State to release the JUSU leaders without criminalising their democratic and peaceful justice activism under the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), he said.

S.A. Jothilingam
S.A. Jothilingam
The hierarchy of the Tamil National Alliance must have dealt with the issue taking it up as a matter of principled politics and priority, without relying upon the legal avenue and hoping for a favourable response from the SL Attorney General, Mr Jothilingam said. He characterised the passive approach as yet another “betrayal” by the TNA.

The chauvinistic nature of the SL judiciary cannot be changed through reforms. The de facto equation will not change without reconfiguring the unitary system into a truly federal constitution, the political analyst said.

While the JVP, which waged an armed struggle in the past, was not facing any no objection for using the photo of Rohana Wijewira in its politics, the SL State is vehemently opposing Tamils for even being in possession of LTTE leader Velupillai Pirapaharan, he observed.

The attitude of the SL State, which views even the existence of Pirapaharan's photo as reviving Tamil national struggle, exposed its chauvinistic character.

The grassroots organisations in the homeland must form a united front and take forward the cause of freeing the student leaders by exerting pressure on the diplomatic missions in Colombo, he said.

Mr Jothilingam also urged a similar approach from the Tamil diaspora.



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