2000 books, 40 computers lost in Student office fire - Jaffna MP

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 May 2006, 12:12 GMT]
A total of six and a half million Rupees worth of books, computer equipment and property were damaged in the lastest attack on the International Students Association of Tamileelam (ISATE) building and the office of the Jaffna MP Mr. S. Kajendran, in the fifth attack of this kind on the same building, the MP wrote in a letter to the Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Major General Ulf Henricsson.

"International Students Union provides extensive services to the students in Jaffna. It hosts a library of 2000 books for the University as well as for the Advanced Level school students. Some computers and valuable office equipments were stolen by the forces and the rest were burnt," the letter further said.

Full text of the letter follows:

Selvarajah Kajendren,
Member of Parliament for Tamil National Alliance
Member of Foreign Relations Committee for TNA
13 May 2006

Head of Mission, Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission

Dear Sir,

My office burnt down by Srilankan Army.

At midnight on 13 May 2006, Sri Lankan Army (SLA) personnel entered ISATE complex at Paremeshwara junction in Jaffna where my office is located and set fire to the building. Fortunately no one was hurt in the fire but property worth millions of rupees was destroyed. The mayhem carried out by SLA was guarded by hundreds of further SLA personnel who had surrounded the office. I am well informed about the incident by eye witnesses close to the scene.

The latest attack was the fifth attack on my office. Yet, the police have so far taken no action for these attacks. On 26 April, SLA entered my office and opened fire. SLA beat four university students present at that time. The students declined to lodge complaints out of fear. One of my assistants in the office was badly injured and was admitted to the hospital.

During this attack on 26, I was away in Colombo. The SLA personnel who were on rampage had told the students that SLA will not allow me to come back to Jaffna alive. I live in fear for my life.

International Students Association of Tamileelam office is also located in the same building. In recent times due to threats to their office they have closed the office and transferred all valuable property into my office, hoping that my status as an MP will give their property some protection.

International Students Association provides extensive services to the students in Jaffna. It hosts a library of 2000 books for the University as well as for the Advanced Level school students. Some computers and valuable offical equipments were stolen by the forces and the rest were burnt. These books, worth around one million Rupees, have been completely destroyed. Forty computers costing a total of 4 million Rupees have been lost. In addition office furniture worth half a million Rupees also has been burnt. The damage to building cost as a result of the fire set by SLA is in the order of one million Rupees. Thus the SLA inflicted damage has cost me and the International Students's Association a total of six and a half million Rupees. All the official records and documents also were burnt completely.

It must be noted that the International Students Association gives bursary to needy University students. It conducts workshops for the senior school students. It also conducts free computer classes. I am unable carry out my routine work due to the death threat and the loss of millions worth of the office equipments and other properties.

So I humbly request you to take necessary measures to ensure my personal security, and to initiate legal action against the SLA personnel involved in yesterday's arson and destruction of property.

Yours truly
Mr. Selvaraja Kajendren


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