US envoy's concern for children said hypocrisy

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 March 2002, 20:12 GMT]
"More than hundred and fifty innocent Tamil children under five are being held in Sri Lankan prisons under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Scores of little children were massacred when the Sri Lanka Air Force bombed the Nagar Kovil School in Jaffna. Thousands of Tamil children whose parents were murdered in cold blood by the SLA are destitute orphans in the northeast today. The US ambassador's humanitarian concern was blind to the plight of these Tamil children until this week.

The US envoy's crass hypocrisy on the question of our children's sufferings due to the war is despicable", said Mr. John F Kennedy, lecturer in English and civil society activist of the Eastern University, addressing a protest meeting against recent attacks on Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan security forces in Vanthaarumoolai, 20 kilometres north of Batticaloa, Wednesday.

The protest meeting on the Eastern University Campus followed a sit in demonstration by students on the main road from Batticaloa to Valaichenai Wednesday morning.

The protest was organised against a grenade attack by a SLA trooper on a civilian in the coastal village of Kaluvankerni, 26 kilometres north of Batticaloa, on 3 March and another attack in a bar in the eastern town by drunken Sri Lanka Police personnel on 10 March in which a civilian was seriously wounded.

Sri Lanka army soldiers from the Kommathurai camp, 18 kilometres north of Batticaloa, attempted to disperse the student protestors by driving armoured vehicles in their midst.

Angry soldiers of the Sri Lanka National Guard Battalion (SLNG) of the SLA cocked their assault rifles against students and university teachers who told them that they had no right under the terms of the permanent ceasefire MoU between Colombo and the LTTE to interfere in civil society protests. Students refused to move from the road despite threats by SLNG soldiers.

The Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University, Dr. M. S Mookkaiah, and the President of the Batticaloa NGO consortium, A. Selvendran, addressed the meeting.



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SLA armoured vehciles among protesting Eastern University students in Vanthaarumoolai, 20 kilometres north of Batticaloa Wednesday. (Photo:TamilNet)



Meanwhile in Batticaloa town, Araimpathy and Kaluwanchikudy, south of the eastern town, thousands protested against the March 3 and 10 attacks on civilians by Sri Lankan security forces.

In Kaluwanchikudy, 24 kilometres south of Batticaloa, more than 2000 protestors gathered on the main road from the eastern town to Kalmunai for the demonstration led by Tamil National Alliance MP for the district Mr. G. K Vellimalai. Special Task Force commandos from the local camp who came to the venue of the protest got into an altercation with some demonstrators.

Mr. Vellimalai said that the STF commandos had threatened to kill his supporters and his driver.


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