Jaffna University students have made an urgent call to universities and students around the world, stating that the “structural genocide of Tamils continues even after almost 12 years since the end of the war”.
Detailing the military harrassment faced, the abductions and even murders of Tamil students at the university, the Students’ Union said , “we afraid for our lives and we cordially request your help to prevent this situation”.
“Some of our fellow students have been enforced to disappear and be shot dead by Sri Lankan armed forces,” the statement said. “Anyone who questions these disappearances or the injustice are subjected to legal action, tortured, disappeared, and in some instances have never been seen again.”
“We firmly believe this is going to happen again”.
The appeal comes following the heavy presence of armed forces on their campus as protests erupted after the Mullivaikal Memorial monument in tribute to the tens of thousands massacred in Mullivaikkal was torn down from the Jaffna University campus overnight on Friday. The act has been condemned by several politicians in the UK, Tamil Nadu, Canada and around the world as well as by multiple Tamil organisations and societies.
It also came before the university Vice Chancellor gave assurances that the destroyed Mullivaikkal memorial monument will be rebuilt “with proper approval” in its previous place and placed a foundation stone today morning, to symbolise that he has “accepted the demands” of the students in the early hours of Monday morning.
In their statement the students conclude with a request to international students and universities to bring the issue to the attention of international governments and demand that the Sri Lankan government stop the abuse of human rights as well as respect and preserve their cultural identities.
“We are asking you to support:
- Our basic human rights
- Our right to fair treatment
- Our right to education
- Our right to equality and equal rights like all other students”
Calls for international accountability are mounting against Sri Lanka, including demands to face genocide charges at the International Criminal Court, following years of ineffective mechanisms towards accountability.
Please see the full statement below: