Democratic Freedom of Expression under threat in Jaffna - Gajendran MP

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 September 2005, 08:27 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament, Mr Selvarajah Gajendran has raised alarm at the detention of a university student and has protested to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission at the "intimidating tactics" of the Sri Lankan armed forces in Jaffna. Arrest of a Jaffna University student, Friday morning, at the "Crossings” at Muhamalai, sparked off a protest by student community. Gajendran MP and hundreds of students from the University of Jaffna rushed to the spot, freed the student and protested to the SLMM officials supervising the activities at the check-point.

Mr. Selvarajah Gajendran
TNA Jaffna MP Mr. Selvarajah Gajendran
The public travelling through the check-point joined students demanding the release of Mr. Ponniah Sreetharan, 26, a student from the Science Faculty, University of Jaffna, detained by the security forces from 8.30 in the morning. The official activities at the check-point was paralysed for nearly two hours when the students and public sat down in protest, before the detained student was freed and taken away by his colleagues.

Mr. Ponniah was subjected to threats by the SLA soldiers while in detention, students alleged. He was warned not to participate in the forthcoming Tamil Resurgence rally scheduled for 30 September.

The soldiers have claimed that Mr Ponniah was detained for questioning for when he was subjected to the routine physical check-up at the crossing.

The detention and threat from the SLA soldiers in the peninsula come in the wake of the Pongu Thamil Resurgence Rally scheduled for 30 September.

The university community is leading the effort to rally public support for the Meet.

"Success of the Tamil Resurgence Rallies in Vavuniya, Batticaloa, Kilinochi and Mullaithivu has alarmed Colombo, and that is why I think SLA has intensified its intimidating tactics to sabotage the forthcoming rally," said Gajendran.

The SLA soldiers have intensified armed patrols in Jaffna district..


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