NE protests in support of fasting PTA suspects
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 October 2002, 17:26 GMT]
Token hunger strikes, boycott of classes and rallies were held in Northeast
province Tuesday in support of the fast unto death campaign by the Tamil
political prisoners now under detention at Kalutara, Welikada and other
prisons in the country.
Mr.Wilfred Mahanama the Senior Supdt. of Police trying to make way for vehicle transport through marching protestors.
The Jaffna University came to a standstill Tuesday
when students, academic and non-academic staff boycotted classes and
official duties. At Mannar representatives of human right organizations
Tuesday morning sent a memorandum through the Government Agent to the
Defence Minister requesting him to release all Tamil political prisoners
immediately. In Trincomalee, one day token fast was held at Uppuveli
Sinnathoduwai Pilliayar Temple, two km north of port town.
Tamil National Alliance national list parliamentarian
Mr.K.Thurairatnasingham speaking at the token hunger strike in Trincomalee
Tuesday said," chauvinist elements in the country has planned to use
Trincomalee as base to sabotage the present process. This became evident
when a group of miscreants from South came to Trincomalee and organized a
hartal on Friday demanding the release of six soldiers of the Sri Lanka
Army now in LTTE custody.
Mr.Sathasivam Kulathevarasa the Chairman of the Federation of the Vavuniya District People's Organisation is handing over a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister to Vavuniya Addl.GA Mr.S.Ragunathapillai.
The people of Trincomalee should be vigilant and should not allow outside
elements to disrupt the prevailing peace environment in the port town where
all three communities live harmoniously, he added. Hundreds of students and
members of public participated in the token fast at Uppuveli in Trincomalee
organised under the auspices of the Trincomalee Peace Progressive Forum.
" The delay on the part of the government in releasing all Tamil political
prisoners now detained at Kalutara, Welikada and other prisons in the
country at this very critical stage will seriously damage the on-going
peace talks between the government and the LTTE," said the memorandum sent
to the Defence Minister by the Mannar District Peoples Forum through the
Government Agent Tuesday.
Demonstrators marching through the roads in Vavuniya, demanding the immediate release of Tamil political prisoners.
Excerpts from the memorandum are given below: -
" We are unable to condone the wicked confinement of Tamil youths in
various prisons, thereby depriving them of their normal life particularly
after the signing of the ceasefire agreement and the suspension of the PTA
and at a time when the LTTE cadres have been permitted to mingle with the
citizens and perform their political work.
" There have been past instances when the helpless political prisoners have
staged hunger strikes and reaped only empty promises from politicians. This
state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue. Tamil political forces and
Human Rights Organizations have made repeated requests to the government to
release the political prisoners but the government inordinately slow and
have been playing with the precious lives of the youths.
A section of women participating in Trincomalee token fast.
"It is a painful fact that many Tamil youths have been arrested and
detained without any valid reason under the Emergency Regulations and the
Prevention of Terrorism Act. The only valid basis for this unjust arrest
and detention seems to be the confession forcibly obtained from the youths
through torture in a language completely alien to them. We hasten to point
out that nothing could justify the inhuman detention of many young men and
women on mere suspicion that they have either given secret information to
the LTTE or failed to share their knowledge about the activities of the
Tigers with the government and that too at a time when peace appears to be