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Australian Tamil Congress express 'deep concern for the safety of Tamils in Sri Lanka'

Responding to the arrest of  Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) General Secretary and MP, Selvarasa Kajendran, the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) have expressed their "deep concern for the safety of Tamils" and urged the foreign secretary to raise a "strong objection to the ongoing political suppression of the Tamil people under the pretext of COVID-19 regulations".

The statement follows the arbitrary arrest of Kajendran who was detained for commemorating the death of Lt. Col Thileepan, on the 34th anniversary of his hunger strike onto death. In their statement the ATC higlights the remarks made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who noted at the 48th UNHRC this month, that "several protests and commemorations have been met with excessive use of force and the arrest or detention of demonstrators in quarantine centres".
"This arrest of an elected Tamil member of parliamentarian represents another form of military intimidation on the Tamil people and the ongoing suppression of peaceful commemoration" the ATC notes. 

They further add that this arrest "demonstrates the vulnerability of the ordinary Tamil people in Sri Lanka who virtually are living under the military rule in their own homeland".

The statement concludes by urging the Australian government to raise this matter with the Sri Lankan government and for Australia to "demand all due procedures are followed by their authorities with regards to the safety and wellbeing of MP, Mr Kajendran Selvarajah".

Read the full statement here.

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