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Sri Lanka gripped with post-war tension, Tamils go on a massive protest

Colombo, Dec 5 (): Condemning the brutal attack on Jaffna University students and the arrest of student leaders by the Sri Lankan Army, Tamil National Alliance (TNA), University Teachers Association, University Students Union, Jaffna Chamber of Commerce, Medical Association, Lawyers Association, civil society organizations and leftist party representatives from the South participated in a massive protest demonstration on December 4 in front of the Central Bus Stand, Jaffna.

This is said to be a precursor of escalating tension in post-war Sri Lanka. Suresh Premachandran of TNA told AFP that this is the first big anti-government protest since fighting ended in 2009.

Premachandran, a representative of Jaffna constituency in parliament, said over 1,000 people came together to take part in the peaceful demonstration while Sri Lankan police and military troops watched from the sidelines. The Sri Lankan military intelligence were taking pictures and recording videos of the protest and its participants.

Fearing presence of remnant tiger rebels in the Northern Province, the Sri Lankan Army continues with its oppressive regime in this region and often tries to impinge on the democratic rights of the ethnic Tamils, like it happened in the last week of November when the Sri Lankan Army attacked the students of Jaffna University when they were planning to pay honours in the event of Heroes Day observations.

All the participating parties have decided to send a joint appeal to the United Nations. The appeal said that remembering the dead is a basic right and it has urged the youth in the Diaspora and in Tamil Nadu to embark on continued agitations to draw the attention of the International Community.

Four demands have been spelt out by the demonstrators: Guaranteeing the Tamils their right to remember the dead; assuring the security of Tamil students, providing them an environment for their political activism; ensuring democracy in the Tamil territory and finally to immediately recognize the nation, territoriality and right to self-determination of Tamils.