"Tiger flag is Tamil nation’s flag" – Mannar Bishop

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 February 2005, 11:39 GMT]
"There is nothing wrong in the Tamil nation raising its national flag. The Tamil national flag is not the Tigers’ flag but it is the Tamil people’s flag. Hoisting it is not against peace. Many who shout against it are silent over the recent killings. It is very deplorable that such murders are committed even amidst the great human tragedy caused by the Tsunami. These killings are provocations to war", said Mannar Bishop Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph, addressing a rally in Mannar town Tuesday to condemn the killing of LTTE political leader, Mr. Kousalyan, the bombing of LTTE’s political office and sexual assault of a student by Police.

Ponguthamil MannarMannar town shut down Tuesday in response to a call by the Federation of Mannar Public Organizations which organized the protest march and rally.

More than a thousand townspeople turned up for the protest at the town’s main bus station Tuesday.

"I praise the Tigers for being patient despite such provocations. It appears that some sections are intent on pushing the peace process backwards. Tamil civilians hoist the Tiger flag in Tamil areas on Great Heroes’ Day. But the military responds to this peaceful act by sending troops with heavy weapons to assault unarmed civilians who are peacefully hoisting the flag", the Bishop said.

Many civilians were injured and one killed when the Sri Lankan military attacked civilians raising the Tigers flag for Great Heroes’ Week in Mannar and Vavuniya in November last year.

Tamil National Alliance MPs for Vanni, Mr. Vino Noharathalingam, Mr. Sivanathan Kishore and Mr. Sivasakthi Anandan also spoke at the rally.

A memorandum was submitted by the Federation of Mannar Public Organizations to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Mannar town.


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