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Jaffna University academics condemn closure

The Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association has condemned the closure of the university over the period covering the anniversary of the end of the armed conflict, in a statement released on Wednesday.
The statement said that death threats were issued against several student leaders and professors, who were accused of “guiding students to support terrorism”.

“Why should Tamils speaking of the war be such an explosive issue five years after it ended, a war in which neither side owned a monopoly on terrorism? The answer has to do with the ideological polarization that remains because there is even less hope now of a political settlement to the national question that has been with us from Independence. Let us not forget that the Government is to observe the same anniversary in grand style in Matara, as the sole author of victory over the LTTE, and with all the pomp and circumstance that goes on around it,” the statement said.

“The Tamil people should have the freedom to mourn collectively the untimely death of a large number of members of their community whether or not the dead persons are members of their family. When Sinhalese people remember dead JVP insurgents they are not subjected by the authorities to such repressive measures.”

“While the Government wants to use the war for political deception, it is only to be expected that its obverse, in the wake of hopelessness and humiliation in being forced to accept the Sinhalisation of their lands and symbols, and the erasure of huge civilian suffering in the latter months of the war, might lead to latent nostalgia for the LTTE – despite the anger against its holding the civilians hostage in the last stages of the war,” the statement further said.

See full statement here.

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