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Jaffna students speak on military intimidation

Students at Jaffna University have spoken out at the recent attack on the Secretary of the Student’s Union and the ongoing military intimidation in Jaffna, which attempted to prevent them from holding a remembrance event for those killed in Mullivaikkal earlier this month.

In a piece by Young Asia TV, a student who concealed his identity said,

Inside the university, those associated with the military and those who can be considered as military intelligence, roam freely without revealing their identity. There have been many situations like this. Even though we have notified the University authorities about this, no guarantee have been given to ensure our safety.”

The student went on to say,

“Last year the President of the Student’s Union was subjected to a similar attack. After this attack, discussions took place between the University, Police and Military authorities. We were then given the assurance that such an attack will not be carried out on students in the future and our safety will be ensured. However, after that promise, this attack that has been carried out on this student has ridiculed us and sent shockwaves among the students.

Similar talks between the military and students have been held recently, with reports that they were coerced into the meeting after protesting against the attack.

Another student who also concealed his identity stated,

“If there’s any truth when they say “one people” and “one nation”, if they have real affection towards the Tamil people, then they shouldn’t have celebrated it as a victory. When the war was brought to an end, the tragedy that also unfolded should have been given prominence, and it should have instead been marked as a day of mourning.

While the Tamil people suffered in this manner, this celebration by the majority and the Sinhalese politicians is something that really hurts the Tamil people.”

Earlier this month, the Tamil Youth Organisation UK gave a speech at a remembrance event in London, stating,

“Yet three years on, May 18th defines precisely what cannot be reconciled.

As we remain confounded by our nation’s collective loss, the Sinhala nation praises its government and celebrates its military.

What the Eelam Tamil nation calls genocide, the Sinhala nation calls ‘victory’.”

See the full speech in our earlier post: 'May 18th defines precisely what cannot be reconciled' - TYO UK (20 May 2012)

Also see remembrance events held by Tamils worldwide in our feature: Mullivaikkal remembered three years on (22 May 2012)

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