Students demand demilitarisation of school environs

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 July 2002, 18:25 GMT]
More than a thousand protesting students blocked the A9 highway near the Chavakachcheri town in Jaffna Friday, demanding that their school environments be made free of Sri Lankan military presence and that Colombo should fully implement the cease-fire agreement. The protesting students stalled military and civilians traffic on the A9 for more than an hour.

The federation of Tamil Students of Thenmaradchi organised the demonstration.

The students' protest march started around 10 a.m. from the Chavakachcheri Hindu College premises and reached the office of the Divisional Secretariat for the area.

Thousands of students from Usan, Varani and Navatkuli took part in the demonstration Friday.

Addressing the protestors, the secretary of the Thenmaradchi Federation of Tamil Students, M. Vijayaroopan, said that the demonstration was organised because there had been no response to representations made by his organisation earlier about the problems faced by school children in the region.

"We explained our predicament in detail to the Jaffna SLMM. We got no answer," he said.

In the memorandum submitted to the Divisional Secretary, the students urged the Colombo to create conditions conducive to education in Maravanpulavu, Eluthumadduval and Thanangkilappu.

"The army should leave all educational institutions and open the access roads to schools it continues to keep closed. Above all our families should be allowed to resettle in our homes," Vijayaroopan said.

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