20 Tamil organisations to lay siege to SL Governor's office on Friday

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 23:48 GMT]
Twenty Tamil organisations, including a number of political parties, grassroots organisations and civil groups, have collectively decided on Tuesday to lay siege to the office of the Sinhala colonial Governor to North, Reginald Cooray, in Jaffna on Friday. The SL State should honour the demands of the hunger-striking political prisoners in Anuradhapura prison as a matter of urgency before SL President Maithiripala Sirisena's scheduled visit to Jaffna on Saturday to take place, the groups said in a joint statement. In addition, there should be a political decision on unconditional release of all 132 Tamil political prisoners, who are being detained or imprisoned across the island. The time has come for Eezham Tamils to demonstrate their mainstream opinion through democratic protests, the organisations said. The hunger strikers are continuing their protest for the 17th day on Wednesday.

Statement by 20 organisations
Statement by 20 organisations
Statement by 20 organisations
The organisations have urged the public to demonstrate its resolve on the matter through a province-wide shutdown on Friday in support of their action demanding immediate response from the Colombo regime on the protest of the hunger strikers.

“It is an ultimatum. Not only to SL President and the regime, but also to the ITAK parliamentarians collaborating with the SL regime and its global backers,” a key activist with the responsibility of mass mobilisation on behalf of the 20 groups, told TamilNet on Wednesday.

The siege and shutdown would pass a direct message to SL President Maithiripala Sirisena and the collaborating sections of ITAK leadership, who are scheduled to visit Jaffna Hindu College on Saturday for a function, the activist further said.

A decision about a direct civil action on Saturday would be taken on Friday depending on the behaviour of the SL Government, the groups have communicated to the grassroots.

There are 132 Tamil political prisoners, who are being detained or imprisoned across the prisons in the island. There should be a principled political decision of releasing them all.

The protesters are to confluence in front of the office of SL Governor to North at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

In the meantime, families of protesting hunger strikers have refuted the allegations being levelled against their kith and kin by the SL ministers.

SL Project Minister of Land, Rajitha Senaratne, has gone on record projecting a myth by describing the hunger-striking political prisoners as former Tiger fighters involved in carrying out major offensives or assaults. There are no prima facie evidence to prove these allegations. The so-called ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division has victimised a number of Tamil prisoners by producing false confessions obtained under torture and by manipulating enslaved former LTTE members to witness against them, the families further said.

How could the SL State punish Tamils and leave out Sinhala commanders and soldiers who committed the most heinous crimes, they asked.

“Therefore, we welcome the decision by the 20 organisations to advance the struggle towards a principled political decision on releasing all the political prisoners,” a family member of one of the Tamil prisoners detained in Anuradhapura told TamilNet on Wednesday.


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