In the week when Tamils across the North-East were preparing to condemn Sri Lanka’s failure to progress on accountability and justice, including its failure to demilitarise the Tamil homeland, with widespread protests, the Sri Lankan army held a Sinhala-language workshop on ‘modern social etiquette’, ‘western dress code’, leadership and drug prevention with 300 Tamils in its occupying headquarters in Palaly.
The workshop on February 24 was held in Sinhala “with a view of improving [the students’] second language skills” the Security Force Headquarters Jaffna said, dubbing it “a rare opportunity for Tamil students in Jaffna”.
Military forces involvement in civilian life continues to draw heavy criticism from Tamil representatives across the North-East. ITAK leader Mavai Senathirajah said last month that militarisation was crippling economic activity in the North. Former chief minister of the province C V Wigneswaran also slammed the military forces for using ‘friendly’ militarisation as a deflection to avoid accountability for past atrocities.