Protests have been planned in Jaffna after widespread outrage over the killing of a prominent Tamil protestor by the Sri Lankan navy yesterday.
Local Tamil fishermen said that 31-year-old Edward Mariyaseelan was killed at sea on Tuesday, when his fishing boat was rammed by a Sri Lankan navy vessel.
Mariyaseelan was a well-known and popular activist, having prominently taken part in protests against the Sri Lankan navy’s land grabs in Mathagal in recent months.
His body was found washed ashore by his colleagues and relatives.
The Sri Lankan navy has reportedly denied it was behind the killing and instead sought to place the blame on Indian trawlers. Locals however are adamant the Sri Lankan security forces are behind the killing, noting that large Indian trawlers cannot come close to the shore due to the presence of rocks.
“We fully stand in solidarity with protests planned against the killing,” tweeted the Tamil National People’s Front earlier today.
“I don’t have suspicions on anyone else except the navy,” said a relative. “It’s definitely them (the navy) who destroyed his boat,” she continued. She also claimed that the incident happened within a short while after Mariyaseelan set off from the shores and the navy interrupted him and attacked him.
See more interviews with Mariyaseelan's relatives and colleagues below.