Jaffna students protest against SLA intervention on Annai Poopathy event

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 March 2006, 09:23 GMT]
Educational activities in Jaffna peninsula came to stansdstill Monday in a boycott called by Student oragnisations in protest against the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) intervention inside the Advanced Technological Institute (ATI) and the attack on the students of the ATI last Friday. Around fifteen students were wounded when SLA troopers who entered the ATI premises in Buffel APC vehicle and attacked the students smashing the garlanded picture frame of Annai Poopathy and forcefully removing the Tamileelam flag on Friday. Students organisations in Jaffna has called for protests following the SLA intervention.

SLA soldiers attack students inside Jaffna Technical College
Annai Poopathy's garlanded picture frame was destroyed by the Sri Lanka Army soldiers who entered the premises of Advanced Technological Institute (ATI) on March 24th, 2006.
There were reports of SLA troopers entering some schools calling for the list of absentee staff. The soldiers also ordered the teachers and the staff to fetch the students from their homes and resume teaching, representatives of the Jaffna District Teachers Assoiciation complained.

SLA troopers were deployed in front of the schools.

The schools were attended by the staff and a small number of students who returned home early.

The ATI, which falls under the administration of the Ministry of Higher Education, is the site where students in recent instances had been confronted by the SLA, in connection with the hoisting of the Tamileelam flag on Annai Poopathy Day remembrance.

The death of Annai Poopathy has been commemorated in the northeast since 1989.

Annai Poopathy, from a small ancient Tamil village of Kiran in Batticaloa, commenced her fast unto death on 19th March, 1988, at Mahmangam Pillayar temple urging the Government of India to call for immediate unconditional ceasefire between the LTTE and the IPKF and to conduct unconditional talks.

She went without any food for thirty days before her death on 19th April, 1988.

As a member of the Navatkerny Mother's Front, she became a vociferous critique of the military operations and widespread violation of human rights by the Sri Lankan armed forces.

Her 28 year old son was shot dead by the Sri Lankan army and then her oldest son by the second marriage was randomly shot dead by the Special Task Force of the Sri Lankan government. Another son, arrested during round up operations, was held in Boosa army camp and subjected to severe torture.

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