Peace march marks Human Rights day
[TamilNet, Monday, 11 December 2000, 21:56 GMT]
At the end of the peace march held on Sunday in Trincomalee in connection with the International Human Rights Day, a memorandum addressed to the UN Secretary General was handed over to the UNHCR representative here by the organising committee comprised of nine non-governmental organisations.
Excerpts from the memorandum are given below:
"We wish to bring to the notice of the United Nations on this 52nd International Day of Human Rights, the systematic denial of the right to livelihood and discriminatory practices adopted by the Sri Lankan State towards the Tamil people.
"For nearly two decades, successive governments of this country have systematically undermined the political and civil rights of the Tamil people. The security arm of the State has imposed restrictions on ownership of productive assets, and on time and areas where we can pursue economic activities like fishing and farming. Security permits are required to pursue our livelihood. The indiscriminate arrests, intimidation and killing of farmers and fishermen while they are engaged in their legitimate activities have imposed additional burden on the community.
"Children in uncleared areas of the northeast face severe problems releated to their education. Children often do not have proper meals and are not in a position to attend school. Acute shortage of teachers has affected their education. Sentry points and camps near school premises have placed children's lives in danger and have affected them psychologically. Please take steps to help us pursue our livelihoods in peace."
In another memorandum addressed to the President and handed over to the Divisional Secretary of Trincomalee, a group of leading citizens of Trincomalee has urged the President to look into the grievances of Trincomalee fishermen who have been affected by the ongoing war.