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Sri Lankan Army’s land grab faces protest; riot police set up to contain protesters

Colombo, June 20 (): With the Sri Lankan’s Army’s increased instances of land grab in northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka, a protest was organized by the Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF); the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Mano Ganesan’s Democratic Peoples’ Front (DPF), leftist parties from the South, Jaffna University Students Union (JUSU) and the trade unions took part in it offering their support,including the teachers’ trade union.

This civil protest is said to be the first of its kind in the island nation in the post-war situation. The protest was organized in front of the Jaffna Central Bus Stand where hundreds of activists had come together to show their support against the illegal land grabbing by the Sri Lankan Army. The key participants addressed the media and the public at a press conference held in front of the TNPF office.

The Sri Lankan Police submitted its own report to Jaffna District Judge M. Ganesarajah stating that destructive elements were about to disrupt the normalcy in the city and got legal approval to cancel the protest and disperse the protesters in the last minute by setting up riot police to disperse them.

Mr Selvaraja Kajendren, general secretary of the TNPF, said that the legal action has been initiated  by the Sri Lankan Police to contain the protesters, only showed the extent of disturbance experienced by the forces behind illegal land grab in the nation.

Mr Kajendren delivered three key messages, particularly addressed to the global community, to the TNA and to the Diaspora of the Eelam Tamils. He opined that the notions of Tamil nation, its own autonomy and the right to self-determination, were not just political slogans. Only by recognizing these foundation principles, one could deal with the burning issues of increased Sinhalicisation in Sri Lanka and urged to find a  political solution based on equality.

Kajendren recalled that it is TNA, which had sent letters to 43 foreign missions and solicited support for the US-backed resolution at the UNHRC and that it had failed to identify the fundamentals and bring about the above reality based on key principles.

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