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ITAK activist latest in spate of summons by terrorism division as Maaveerar Naal approaches

An activist for Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), the largest party of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), has been summoned for questioning by Sri Lankan’s terrorism investigation division (TID).

Peter Ilancheliyan, a prominent member of ITAK’s youth wing and son of the late former deputy chair of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Anthony Jeyanathan, is the fourth Mullaitivu-based individual to be summoned for questioning in recent weeks.

Journalist Shanmugam Thavaseelan, former NPC member A Puvaneswaran, and vice chair of the Puthukudiyiruppu divisional council Janamejeyanth have already appeared before the TID and were all questioned extensively about their involvement in memorial activities during the month of May when Tamils held genocide remembrance week events and marked ten years since the genocide at Mullivaikkal.

In a summons notice written entirely in Sinhala, Ilancheliyan was told to appear in Colombo on November 8, for general questioning and a meeting with the officer in charge of investigative division 1.

Although the officers who served him the notice failed to divulge any information as to the reasons for his summons, Ilancheliyan stated he believed he would be questioned about his involvement in memorialisation activities.

He further expressed his view that the spate of targeted summons by the TID were designed to intimidate organisers in the North-East and threaten them against commemorating Maaveerar Naal on November 27, the day dedicated to the remembrance of fallen LTTE martyrs.

“I believe it will be a threat to block me from participating in protests for our rights, and in participating and leading Maaveerar Naal, Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day, land release struggles and other events,” Ilancheliyan said.

“We will continue to fight for our rights no matter what,” he stated, adding that he did not fear further questioning.