» 07/19/2014, 00.00
Jaffna: government erodes freedom and dignity of Tamil people
Melani Manel Perera
A thousand people of all ethnicities and religions participate in a meeting to denounce the conditions in which the North’s Tamils are forced to live. Police desperately try to prevent the rally, even threatening some refugees.
Jaffna (AsiaNews) - "The Sri
Lankan government is violating and
destroying the freedom and dignity
of the Tamils in the north of the country", denounces Ven. Bendiwewea
Diyasena Thero, a Buddhist monk - along
with a thousand people drawn from
all ethnicities and religions
- who participated in a rally held in Jaffna (Northern
Province) on 15 July.
wanted to organize a peaceful demonstration (satyagraha) led by the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement in front of
the main bus station in Jaffna. However, the police banned the protest under court order. They
claimed that 12 people had
submitted a request to block the gathering, for "fear that it could cause problems."
In addition to this, the security forces
have threatened civilians living in the area - including some refugees - warning them
not to attend the event.
However, NAFSO managed to organize a
"rally", leading the
protesters - Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist monks, priests, civil society
representatives, politicians and members of Christian Solidarity Movemement (CSM) - to the city's Weerasignham
"Silencing the media - said Fr. Reid Shelton
Fernando - or
preventing people from gathering and
participating in peaceful events will not prevent the truth from being heard.
Sacred Scripture says that one day
the truth will out. Till then, according to our faith, we pray to our God to lead us to a
"In the north - said Suresh Premachndran, a lawmaker of the Tamil
National Alliance - there are only 1
million people. The Sri Lankan
army has only 200 thousand
soldiers, of which 150 thousand deployed in the north. This
clearly points to an ongoing militarization of the area" .
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