'Pongu Thamil' demos in Batticaloa and Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 January 2001, 17:09 GMT]
Demonstrations were held Wednesday in Vavuniya and Batticaloa in support of the Pongu Thamil rally in Jaffna. Hundreds of undergraduates of the Eastern University in Batticaloa and the College of Education in Vavuniya gathered for peaceful rallies urging the Sri Lankan government to start peace talks with the Liberation Tigers and to recognize the Tamil people's right of self determination.

A demonstration in Batticaloa was held on the Eastern University's campus in Vanthaaromoolai. Undergraduates, teachers and other university staff took part in the rally. Speakers at the rally condemned the arrest of Jaffna university students by the Sri Lanka army. Posters and banners demanding that the Sri Lankan government reciprocate the LTTE's cease-fire offer and start peace talks were put up on the campus grounds.

batti-univ_demo_2_170101.jpgA leaflet distributed by the students and teachers of the eastern university and broadcast over the public address system on and around the campus states, among other things,

"The Sri lankan government should come up with a solution that includes the aspirations of the Tamil people and recognize their right to self determination "The Sri Lankan government should stop indiscriminately arresting, detaining, torturing and killing Tamils and denying them the right to life and the freedom of expression".

" Start talks with third party mediation without submitting to external pressure"

Meanwhile, in Vavuniya undergraduates of the college of education and the local campus of the Jaffna University Wednesday held their own Pongu Thamil rallies and demonstrations with hundreds, including teachers, participating.

The demonstrators demanded that the Sri lankan government recognize the Tamil people's right of self determination and their traditional homeland. Speakers urged the Colombo to reciprocate the LTTE'S cease-fire offer and to begin peace talks to end the conflict.

The parish priest of the catholic church of Rambaikkulam, Fr. Jeyapalan, the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce , S.Nanthakumar and others addressed the rally at the Vavuniya campus of the Jaffna University.

'Pongu Thamil' demonstration in Batticaloa, 17.January 2001.


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