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'The international community must send an unequivocal message' - Tamil diaspora groups condemn the arrest of Jaffna's Mayor

Tamil diaspora institutions, including United States Tamil Action Group (USTAG) and People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL)  have condemned the arrest of Jaffna's Mayor and called for an "unequivocal message" from the international community to signal that his arrest is "an unacceptable abuse of power".

Viswalingam Manivannan was arrested by Sri Lanka's Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) on Friday morning on charges of attempting to resurrect the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and was taken to Vavuniya for 'further investigation'. Sri Lankan police alleged that the uniforms worn by a Jaffna Municipal Council environmental task force, under Manivannan’s authority, resembled those formerly worn by the LTTE's police force. 

 

United States

USTAG called for the urgent attention of the international community regarding the threat the arrest poses to all Tamils on the island. It tweeted, 

PEARL also demanded action from the international community and urged for the Mayor’s immediate release. 

Canada

The National Council of Canadian Tamils further condemned the arrest stating:

 

Their statement has been joined by a number of prominent Canadian politicians.

France

The Tamil Youth Organisation, France, has similarly condemned the arrest stating on Twitter:

"It is appalling that Tamils cannot even freely choose the colours of a uniform The Eelam Tamil Genocide continues in every way possible! Sri Lankan occupation of Tamil Eelam must end!"

Germany

The People's Council of Eelam Tamils, an organisation based in Germany, stated:

The arrest also continues to receive outrage from both, Tamil politicians and those from the international community. Manivannan was released on bail on Friday evening. He has insisted that he will pursue legal action against the police for his arbitrary detention. The case has been adjourned until 26th June 2021.

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