Protest in Vavuniya condemns Manipay SLA assault
[TamilNet, Saturday, 15 February 2003, 12:24 GMT]
More than thousand residents of Vavuniya and surrounding areas marched in Vavuniya Saturday wearing black belts in their waists protesting the attack on Wednesday 12 February on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) unarmed female cadres in Manipay, Jaffna, by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers. The marchers handed over a memorandum to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), sources in Vavuniya said.
At least eight unarmed cadres from the LTTE’s political wing were hospitalized after they and several civilians who had rushed to their assistance were severely assaulted by armed Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troop during the incident in Manipay.
V. Kugendran, Secretary of Consortium hands over memorandum to SLMM oifficial while Senthilnathan (ACTC) watches
The protest, organized by Consortium of Vavuniya district Public Organizations, started in KurumanKaadu junction and reached the SLMM office in Vairavapuliyankulam on Mannar A14 highway. The majority of participants were women, and all marchers wore a black-belt, V. Kugendran, Secretary of the Consortium said.
Consortium president S. Gnanapragasam, All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) Vavuniya district president K.A.Senthilnathan, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Vavuniya district secretary Moorthy, and Christpher were present when Kugendran submitted the Memorandum to a member of SLMM.
"It is regrettable that even after the passage of one year after the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the LTTE and the Government of SriLanka (GOSL), the Government is struggling to fulfil its obligations as agreed in the MoU. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) is increasingly engaging in provocation, assaults on unarmed civilians and sexual harrasment and rape on Tamil women. The Manipay incident must be viewed as manifestation of this trend," the memorandum said.
"Although several complaints have been lodged with the SLMM on the violations of the SLA and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) no actions have yet been taken on the complaints. Failure to contain these violations by SLA and SLN is raising question marks on the SLMM in Tamil peoples minds," the memorandum added.
"International community is actively supporting the peace process where the LTTE is participating with full commitment. In this climate, Tamil people expect the SLMM to apply pressure on the GOSL and the security forces to abide by the conditions in the MoU," the memorandum concluded.
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