2nd Lead (Adds photos)

Up-Country Tamils protest against Sri Lankan Minister

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 August 2005, 13:43 GMT]
More than five-thousand protesters demonstrated Monday in front of Colombo Fort Railway station from 3:00 p.m till 4:30 p.m. against the Sri Lankan Deputy Minister of Labour Relations and Foreign Employment, Mr. Mervyn Silva, over his recent racial slurs directed at the Up-Country Tamils of Indian origin. Mr. Silva, while verbally abusing journalists who went to cover a court case where his son was involved, also insulted the Up-Country Tamils, according to journalists in Colombo.

Demonstrators carrying placards against Mr. Mervyn Silva
Demonstrators carrying placards against Mr. Mervyn Silva


UPF banner
UPF banner
CWC leader Mr. Arumugam Thondaman talking to media
CWC leader Mr. Arumugam Thondaman talking to media
Security beefed up in Colombo
Security beefed up in Colombo
A general shut down was observed in Up-Country towns Talawakelle, Nuwara Eliya and Hatton.

Hundreds of protestors travelled from Up-Country to Colombo to join the protest.

Security was beefed up with police and the armed forces in the vicinity of Fort Railway Station and other key places in the city of Colombo.

Demonstrators chanted slogans against the comments made by deputy Minister Mervyn Silva and urged Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga to take stern action against Mervyn Silva.

Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), Up-Country People's Front (UPF), Western Province People's Front (WPPF) together with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and other organisations jointly participated in the demonstration.

"The attitude of Minister Mervyn Silva highlights the chauvinistic nature of Chandrika's government," Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakara, leader of the leftist New Democratic Front, said addressing the rally.

UPF leader Mr. P. Chandrasekaran, CWC leader Mr. Arumugan Thondaman, parliamentarians Mr. M. S. Sellasamy, Mr. V. Puthirasigamani, WPPF leader Mr. Mano Ganesan and Free Media Movement (FMM) spokesman Mr. Sunanda Desapriya attended the demonstration.

Mervyn Silva, a confidante of Kumaratunga, lost the general elections in April 2004, but was appointed as a member of parliament from the national list. On 18 July he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Labour Relations and Foreign Employment by Kumaratunga.
Mr. Periyasamy Chandrasekran, UPF leader addressing the rally
Mr. Periyasamy Chandrasekran, UPF leader addressing the rally
Demonstrators in front of Fort Railway Station
Demonstrators in front of Fort Railway Station
Protest by Upcountry Tamils
UNP parliamentarian Maheswaran addressing the rally
Protest by Upcountry Tamils
TNA's Jaffna MP Gajendran addressing the rally

 

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