Demonstration against British ban
[TamilNet, Friday, 16 February 2001, 12:53 GMT]
A big demonstration was held in Kokkadichcholai in the Batticaloa district on Friday urging the British government not to proscribe the Liberation Tigers under the Terrorism Act and demanding the Sri Lankan government to begin negotiations with the Tigers. The protesters also burnt effigies of Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga, Prime MinisterRatansiri Wickremanayake, Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte and Foreign Minister Luxman Kadirgamar said sources.
A large number of people participated in the protest-march that began at Ampilanthurai and Manalpiddy and converged at the Paddipalai Divisional Secretary's (DS) office. The protesters handed over memorandums to the Secretary of the Paddipalai DS, addressed to the General Secretary of the United Nations, Sri Lankan President, British Government and Western diplomatic missions in Colombo.
The protesters said the outlawing the LTTE in Briton under the new anti-terrorism law will scuttle the Norwegian initiated peace process to find a political solution to the protracted ethnic conflict in the island.
Hundreds of people including a large number of school children from Porathivupatru, Vavunathivu, Eravurpatru and Karadiayanaaru participated in the protest march organised by the Consortium of the Non Governmental organisations in Paddipalai and Vavunathivu.
Meanwhile the eastern university community said Friday that they are planning to hold a demonstration next week in support of peace initiatives undertaken by the international community. They said the protest is a part of 'Pongu Thamil' (Tamil Upsurge) demonstrations organised by the universities in the north-east of the island.
A statement issued by the university community said picketing, protest-fasts and black-ribbon protests organised by them during the past month in support of the Tamil People's right to self-determination have been successful and appealed to all peace loving citizens, non-governmental organisations, and students to take part in next Friday's demonstration.