3RD LEAD

Appeal to MPs, ICRC, GA to bring murdered student’s body home

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 March 2007, 10:51 GMT]
Eight Tamil parliamentarians have written to Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary, Gothebaya Rajapakse, on behalf the family of a murdered Jaffna University student, who are pleading for permission for his body to be taken to their home in Viswamadu in Tamil-Tiger controlled Vanni. The family has also requested the University authorities and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Kilinochchi to also help, relatives said.

The letter says the mother and sisters of Selvaratnam Sivaranjan, who was gunned down Thursday,whilst working as night watchman at Chavakachcheri Government Hospital, are mortally terrified of traveling to Jaffna for the funeral.

The relatives in Jaffna who have been given the body by the Jaffna police are frightened of trying to take the body to Vanni themselves.

They have pleaded with the Vice Chancellor of Jaffna University to arrange the transfer of the student’ remains to Vismamadu where they are living.

The University authorities told TamilNet are prepared to make the necessary arrangements, but are waiting for clearance from the Ministry of Defence.

The Government Agent (GA) of Jaffna is also prepared to assist with the transfer.

But Defence Ministry officials are not returning the GA’s calls in this regard, sources said.

The text of the letter, signed by Jaffna TNA MP G. G. Ponnambalam on behalf of the eight MPs, follows:

I write to you on behalf of all eight Tamil National Alliance Members of Parliament of the Jaffna Electoral District.

You will recall that Mr. Selvaratnam Sivaranjan (deceased) was a student registered in the Jaffna University when he was brutally gunned down whilst working as a night watchman at the Chavakachcheri Government Hospital. He came from a very underprivileged family and whilst pursuing his higher studies was forced to take up a part-time job as a night watchman to make ends meet.

The immediate family of the deceased is residing in Viswamadu, consisting of his mother, Mrs. Selvaratnam Theyvanapillai and his three sisters. The family contacted the TNA asking that the University intervene in order to get the body of the deceased transported to Viswamadu so that the last rights could be performed.

The family made this request as they are mortally terrified of personally traveling to Jaffna. The relatives in whose custody the body of the deceased is in currently are also frightened to provide any further assistance regarding the transportation of the deceased’s body.

Considering the pathetic situation in which the family is placed in, we herewith request that your Ministry grant MoD clearance and direct the Sri Lankan Armed Forces to fully cooperate in transporting the said deceased’s body to Viswamadu.


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