Yogeswary obstructs Sherine’s human rights workshop in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 December 2010, 11:21 GMT]
The Jaffna Mayor Mrs. Yogeswary Patkunam, allegedly receiving ‘instructions’ from some ruling circles, cancelled permission to use the Jaffna Public Library auditorium by a human rights group called Home for Human Rights run by Sherine Xavier to conduct a workshop Saturday. The booking made for the auditorium on December 3 was cancelled in the last minute on Friday. Some academics of the Jaffna University and visitors from the south, altogether numbering more than 100, were scheduled to participate in the workshop on human rights violations after the Vanni war. While the Colombo-based Home for Human Rights is said to be liaising with a power that was a party to the war crimes, the Jaffna Mayor is said to have acted on the instructions of a minister who perceives local political mobilisation sponsored by that power a threat to him.
Meanwhile, on the cancelled programme, Sunday Times, coming from Colombo said: The organizers – Home for Human Rights (HHR) and the Jaffna based Cintanaikoodam (think tank) consisting of academics were to hold discussions on the topic ‘Post-May 19, Development in Sri Lanka’s North and East – Whose Development and at What Cost’.
Media circles in Colombo close to powers showed much interest in knowing the details of the cancellation.
Holding workshops in Jaffna by bringing people from the south has become an activity of incentives to organisers in recent times, media circles in Jaffna said.
According to Jaffna Municipal Council, the auditorium was needed for its own ‘staff meeting’ Saturday. The Mayor said that she had made arrangement for the staff meeting, as she was not aware of any booking. A meeting of 30 staff members of the Municipal Council took place for two hours on Saturday.
Sunday Times said the following academics and notables from Jaffna were to participate in the workshop: Prof. S.K. Sitrampalam, Prof. V.P. Sivanathan, Head/ Economics, Rev. J. Selvarajah – Secretary, NGO Council, Rt. Rev. (Dr.) S. Jebanesan, former Bishop, Church of South India, Prof. S. Krishnarajah, Department of History, Dr. T. Gadambanathan, Psychiatrist, Batticaloa, Dr. Murali Vallipuranathan, Specialist Community Physician, Prof. M. Sinnathamby – Head/ Law, Prof. R. Sivachandran, former Dean/ Arts, Mr. S. Raveendran, Lecturer/ Geography, N. Vithyatharan, former editor, Sudar Oli and Uthayan, and Dr. Nishan de Mel, Director, Verité Research.