Students at the University of Jaffna held a demonstration calling the Sri Lankan government to account, after a school student committed suicide over the ongoing Tamil political prisoners crisis.
Demonstrators called for justice for the death of 18-year-old Rajeswaran Senthuran, who took his own life in protest at the Sri Lankan government's failure to release Tamil political prisoners.
Rajeswaran Senthuran, a student at Kokkuvil Hindu College jumped in front of a train at Kondavil railway station near Jaffna.
The student, from Kopay North, left a suicide note in Tamil, addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena, demanding the release of Tamil political detainees, who have been imprisoned under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The note reads:
"To Tamil Eelam; give freedom, shed light
His Excellency the Presidency's good-governance regime must rehabilitate and release all political prisoners immediately.
Not a single Tamil political prisoner can remain imprisoned any longer. When even I have realised the urgent need to release these political prisoners, it causes me much pain that this good-governance regime has not realised it.
In Tamil Eelam,
Yours, with love for the Tamil people greater than life,
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Students gathered in front of the university's arts faculty after classes on Thursday as news of the student's death broke. Candles were lit in vigil.
Some placards held by the demonstrators read:
"Good-governance regime, answer for the sacrifice of this student's life!"
"This schoolboy today, who else tomorrow?"
"Have we not lost enough lives for our rights?"
"Did the good-governance regime not understand what this student understood?"
|"The school student today, who tomorrow?"
Expressing shock and sadness at the news, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) urged calm.
"We are very shocked and saddened by the suicide of of the 18 year old student, Rajeswaran Senthuran," the leader of the TNA, R Sampanthan and the TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah said in a statement on Thursday.
"In such a situation it is important that everyone safeguards the peace. We will express and share our agony and grief without any violence."
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