Statewide protest in Tamil Nadu demands ceasefire in Sri Lanka
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 25 November 2008, 12:35 GMT]
Normalcy was disturbed in the 30 district capitals of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday from 7:00 a.m. till noon as thousands of demonstrators led by Communist Party of India (CPI), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Tamil National Movement, Puthiya Thamizhakam, Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam and several other organisations took to the streets, blocking the railway, bus and postal services. Around 50,000 courted brief arrests. The organisers said the success of the protest in Tamil Nadu, especially amid heavy rain along the coastal districts, symbolised deep rooted support for Eezham Tamils cause. The protest called on the Central Government of India to prevail upon the Rajapaksa government to announce an immediate ceasefire.
CPI State Secretary D. Pandian addressing media at the protest in Tamil Nadu's capital city Chennai
The Tamil Nadu police arrested around 50,000 protesters in various cities and registered around 25,000 arrests unable to contain the whole protest.
Tamil Nadu State Secretary of the CPI, D. Pandian, led the protest in front of Chennai Railway Station with veteran leaders of the party Nallakannu and Dr. Krishnasamy.
Pazha Nedumaran and several other leaders led the protest in Mathurai. Joint State Secretary of CPI, C. Mahendran led the protest in Trichy, Periyar Dravida Kazhakam leader Mani led the protest in Salem.
Tamil activists Viduthalai Rajendran and Thiyagu courted arrest with thousands of other protesters.
Dr. Ramdoss's PMK also extended support to the protest in some places, according to the organisers.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi, on the same day, convened an All Party Meeting where most of the parties aligned with the DMK attended. The parties resolved to take the issue to the direct attention of the Indian Prime Minister as early as on 28 November.
Protestors at Vizhuppuram
Participants of the protest in Chennai
Protesters blocking buses at a station in Chennai
C. Mahendran, the joint secretary of the CPI courts arrest
Protest in Trichy
Protest in Trichy
Protest in Chennai