Fifteen Batticaloa undergraduates's lives at risk -union

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 March 2001, 17:29 GMT]
The students' union of the Eastern University in Batticaloa said Friday that it fears for the safety and lives of the undergraduates who were involved in organizing the Pongu Thamil program urging peace and expressing the political aspiration of the Tamil people. In a statement issued Friday evening the union said the lives of 15 students are at risk and appealed to the international community and human rights organizations that they face a threat from the army and paramilitaries. The statement said that the Pongu Thamil is a democratic, free and peaceful expression of the deepest political desires of the Tamil people and students.

"A section of the media gave prominence to the statement of Batticaloa's military coordinating officer that the Liberation Tigers were behind the Pongu Thamil rally. We feel that this is a prologue to silencing our peaceful, democratic voice. The army attempted to photograph student activists and gather information on them in the guise of reporters on 28 February at the campus. Intelligence is also being sought on fifteen students. Our lives are in grave danger. The blood stained past and our experience also corroborate our fear" the statement said.

The Eastern University students' union called on everyone to join the continuing Pongu Thamil.


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