Withdraw armed forces from civilian inhabited areas in NE- TNA

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 December 2005, 09:50 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in a statement tabled in parliament Tuesday demanded the Sri Lanka government to withdraw all armed forces from all civilian inhabited areas in the North East. TNA further called the government to take disciplinary and legal action against all members of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces who are responsible for the attack on Tamil civilians in Jaffna district in the last several days.

The full text of the statement delivered by Mr.R.Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group in parliament Tuesday follows: -

I wish to bring to the urgent attention of this House the very grave and volatile situation faced in the North-East and Jaffna in particular, due to the conduct of the Sri Lankan armed forces.

On Friday the 16th of December 2005 a young girl by the name of Ilayathamby Tharshini, 20 years of age and a resident of Pungudutheivu went missing. On hearing this disturbing news the local villagers began searching for her whereabouts. On Saturday the 17th of December 2005 her naked was found sexually assaulted in an abandoned well in close vicinity to a Sri Lankan Naval Camp in Pungudutheivu. Her body had been severely mutilated.

Circumstances under which the body was recovered clearly indicated the Sri Lankan Navy's hand in this most despicable act of state terror. Consequently on Sunday the 18th of December 2005, the people of the area began to agitate against the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. These protests began to spread spontaneously and the Sri Lankan Armed Forces began to retaliate against the unarmed civilians by firing live ammunition at the crowd and using brute force, during which a postal peon who was also a resident of Pungudutheivu suffered gunshot injuries and is currently hospitalized in a serious condition.

On hearing the news of this cruel murder and the subsequent oppressive conduct of the Sri Lankan armed forces towards the protesting crowds, the students of the Jaffna University decided to attend the funeral of young Tharshini. The Jaffna University students were also accompanied by the Mr.Selvarajah Gajendran, Jaffna district TNA parliamentarian. Whilst they attempted to leave for Pungudutheivu from Parameswara Junction in Jaffna, the Sri Lankan armed forces prevented them from proceeding. Consequent to this the students began to agitate against the actions of the armed forces who in turn started using violence against the students including the use of fire arms.

On the following day, Monday the 19th December 2005, the Jaffna University community inclusive of the Vice Chancellor, Heads of Departments, Professors, Lecturers, administrative staff embers and students decided to hand over a petition to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission regarding the incidents.

While they were proceeding, the Sri Lankan armed forces once again violently prevented the people from proceeding. In this incident many were inured, out of whom over 15 have been admitted to hospital with gunshot injuries and injuries caused by blunt weapons. Included in this list of injured are: -

  1. Prof.K.Mohanthas, Vice Chancellor, Jaffna University (assaulted)
  2. Prof.Perinbanathan- (gunshot injuries)
  3. Pro.Sivachchandran ( assaulted)
  4. Mr.Kandeepan, Medical Faculty Students Union President (assaulted)
  5. Mr.Senthil-Student (gunshot injury)
  6. Mr.Sakkaravarthy-Student (assaulted)
  7. Mr.Sureshkumar-Student (assaulted)
  8. Mr.T.Senthuran-Student (assaulted)
  9. Mr.S.Pratheepan- Student (assaulted)
  10. Mr.Dharmalingam Ruban-Student (assaulted)
  11. Mr.Kandeepan-student (assaulted)
  12. Mr.Piratheepan Journalist, Uthayan newspaper (assaulted)
  13. Mr.Sabeswaran- Journalist Thinakkural (assaulted)
  14. Mr.Jegan- Journalist Thinakaran (assaulted).
The Tamil National Alliance vehemently condemns the conduct of the Sri Lankan armed forces not only with regard to the practice of State Terror against unarmed innocent Tamil civilians, but also the brutal suppression of the Tamil peoples' right to peacefully protest against the shameful and despicable sexual assault and murder of an innocent, vulnerable young girl. Incidents of this nature have been systematically used by the armed forces against Tamil civilians as a weapon of war. That similar incidents continue to occur during times of a Peace Process seriously calls into question the sincerity of the Sri Lankan armed forces to the Ceasefire.

Accordingly, the TNA calls upon the government to-
  1. Immediately remove from service the officers in charge of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces units when the several incidents referred to above have occurred.
  2. Withdraw all armed forces from all civilian inhabited areas.
  3. Take disciplinary and legal action against all members of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces responsible for the above incidents.


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