SL Govt. servants at meeting on Pongu Thamil face SLA action

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 August 2003, 04:13 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government servants who participated at a meeting held last Sunday, August 17, in Vavuniya, in preparation for the Pongu Thamil celebrations in the city to be conducted on September 15, have been asked to provide an explanation for their attendance at the meeting by the Sri Lanka Army, sources in Vavuniya said.

The SLA has sought the explanation in writing through the heads of the respective government departments, the sources said.

The organizers of the Pongu Thamil event have complained to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in a letter that such demands by the SLA are a violation of the employees’ fundamental human rights, and asked the SLMM monitors to take action and force the SLA to withdraw the demand for explanations.

The organizers said in their letter to the SLMM that the Pongu Thamil event is an expression of the Tamil people’s aspirations and is intended to strengthen the current peace process. They emphasized that the preparatory meeting took place on a holiday, Sunday, and "asking an explanation from the government employees for their participation at the meeting in their personal capacity was a clear violation of their human rights."

The letter went on to say that the SLA has mistaken the nature of the Pongu Thamil event and is attempting to punish the government employees for exercising their basic rights. “The SLMM,” the Pongu Thamil organizers said, “should put a stop to such actions by the SLA.”

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