Religious heads protest in Kilinochchi against civilian killings
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 18:17 GMT]
"International community and Human Rights agencies including UNHCR, UNICEF are keeping silent while Tamil men, women and children are being killed daily in NorthEast of Sri Lanka," said Janab. S. M. Shaheel, Islamic religious leader, participating in a non-violent sit-in demonstration staged in front of the UNHCR office in Kilinochchi Wednesday from 8.45 a.m to 1:00 p.m., said sources in Kilinochchi.
Islamic Moulavi S. M. Shaheel.
More than 50 Christian clergy and Hindu priests, and five Islam religious heads participated in the sit-in which began in front UNHCR office in Karadipoku junction on the A9 road in Kilinochchi. Protesters accused the Sri Lanka government (GoSL) for sanctioning its armed forces and its paramilitaries targeting civilians, added the sources.
A memorandum to the UN General Secretary Mr. Koffi Annan, appealing to intervene immediately to stop the killings, was handed to the residential UNHCR Chief, Mr. Marin Din Kajdomchaj, said sources from Kilinochchi.
"Irrefutable evidence exists that the killings of civilians in the islets are perpetrated by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) soldiers and collaborating paramilitaries. The killer of the Muslim youth murdered in Jaffna recently, had walked past the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) SLA troopers near by, the revolver held openly in his hand, said fellow Muslims who witnessed the incident," said Moulavi Shaheel.
"The paramilitaries detest the increasing levels of amity developing between the Tamil and Muslim communities. Our Muslim leaders too, driven by self-interest are trying to create divisions between Muslims and the Tamils. I would like to tell the Muslim youth in the East that they should not be attracted by inflammatory speeches of the self-centered Muslim politicians. We have a bright and prosperous future in building a close relationship with Tamils,” added Moulavi Shaheel.
Rev. James Pathinathar, Rev. Reginald of Annai Illam, Rev. Fr.Karunaratnam of North East Secretariat of Human Rights, Rev. Francis Joseph, President Education Development Assembly of the Christian Faith, and Sri. K. Inthireswara Kurukkal President of the Vanni Hindu Priests Union of the Hindu religious society, and Moulavi S. M. Shaheel of the Islamic religion were the prominent participants in the sit-in demonstration.
Mr. Marin Din Kajdomchaj who received the memorandum from Rev. James Pathinathar, told the protesters that he is fully aware of the current violence targeting civilians in the north and assured he would send the memorandum to the Secretary General with his report.
Rev. Francis Joseph reading aloud the memorandum.
Hindu priests in front of the UNHCR office.