2ND LEAD (Correction)

May remembrance observed in Jaffna amid SLA intimidation

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 May 2010, 08:12 GMT]
Despite hindrances and intimidation including death threats to the organizing clergy of the Tuesday memorial events for the people killed in the war on Vanni last year, Jaffna University Student Union (JUSU) and Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF) observed the commemoration events Tuesday in a peaceful manner, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, Jaffna Bishop Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam, commenting on the behaviour of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials, said that their activities have revealed their true face. It is alleged that SLA officers from Jaffna Fort had personally threatened the clergy with death who had organized memorial event in Trimer Hall which was cancelled due to the threats, the sources added.

“If you observe the event Tuesday a similar memorial event for you will be conducted next year,” the SLA officers had warned the organizing clergy.

The memorial event that was to be held in Jaffna Veerasingham Hall by the Committee for Peace and Goodwill (CPG) had to be given up at the last moment as SLA officers had effectively threatened the Veerasingham Hall administrators not to give the Hall to conduct the event.

SLA had also ordered the organizers of the event to inform the public that the it has been cancelled.

SLA conducted their event of releasing detainees in Veerasingham Hall Tuesday instead.

Consequently, CPG had relocated the event to be held Tuesday in Trimer Hall near Jaffna Central College but SLA soldiers had put up a notice Monday night at the entrance of Timer Hall which said that the memorial event had been cancelled.

Hundreds of parents of youths killed in the war on Vanni who had come to participate in the event had to go away with distress as no one was present in Trimer Hall.

JUSU, however, observed the memorial event in Jaffna University where ‘Appeasement of the souls’ prayer was held in Parameasvara temple in the university location followed by a meeting held in Kailasapathi auditorium.

Thousands of undergrads participated in the meeting where student representatives, lecturers and deans remembered the victims of Vanni spoke in memory of the victims killed in Vanni.

Meanwhile, only 6 of the many members of the TNPF were allowed to enter the head office on 3rd Cross street in Jaffna town to conduct the memorial event.

 

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