Batticaloa undergrads condemn state terrorism, rape

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 March 2001, 17:28 GMT]
More than a thousand students of the Eastern University in Batticaloa Friday staged a protest against the rape and torture of Sivamani and Wijikala, the two women who were tortured and raped in the custody of the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) of the Sri Lankan Police in Mannar on 19 March. The student protestors condemned the attitude of the Women's rights groups in the north and east, which, according to them, deliberately choose to ignore the atrocities perpetrated on women like Ida Kamalitta, Koneswary, Sivamani and Wijikala.

"The war unleashed by the Sri Lankan government is not merely against the person and property of the Tamil people but is also one that is being waged against their self-respect and dignity. The aim of the Sri Lankan government's war on the Tamil people is to terrify them psychologically and induce in them a 'thought coma'. If we are to live as a society with self-respect and dignity we should liberate ourselves from this 'coma' and uplift ourselves so that we would be in a position to determine our own fate", said a statement issued by the Eastern University students at the demonstration Friday.

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"We have to expose the brutal face of state terrorism against the Tamil people. If we fail in our duty, we will not be able to stop the mass murders in Thangavelayuthapuram, Veeramunai, Pandiruppu, Kokkaddicholai, Sathurukkondaan, and the Eastern University from recurring", the statement of the students further said.

Hundreds of Tamils were massacred by the Sri Lankan security forces in Thangavelayuthapuram, Veeramunai, Pandiruppu in the Ampara district and in Sathurukkondaan, and the refugee camp at the Eastern University in the Batticaloa district in 1990. More than 160 Tamils were killed in the village of Kokkaddicholai by the Sri Lanka army in 1991. Koneswary (Ampara) and Ida Kamalitta (Mannar) were raped and murdered by Sri Lankan security forces personnel none of whom have been brought to book so far.

Sections of the academic staff, members of the public, school students and the non-academic workers of the eastern university took part in the demonstration around noon Friday.

Officials of the Suriya Women's Development Centre in Batticaloa who present on the campus for a drama festival Friday did not take part in the demonstration.

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