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Paramilitaries and Rajapaksa supporters in North-East celebrate amidst fears for human rights activists

Tamil paramilitaries and supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa took to the streets across the North-East, lighting firecrackers and waving Sri Lankan flags to celebrate his appointment as Sri Lankan prime minister, as others expressed concern for Tamil human rights activists in the region.

 

A dozen or so Rajapaksa supporters in Jaffna lit firecrackers in the town centre, taking photos and videos of themselves.

In Vavuniya a group garlanded a statue of Sri Lankan army commander Denzil Kobbekaduwa, who is accused if overseeing a litany of human rights abuses as he oversaw Sri Lankan military operations in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Meanwhile, approximately half a dozen TMVP supporters in Batticaloa who are aligned to the war-crimes accused paramilitary leader Karuna, lit firecrackers to celebrate.

Tamil Guardian’s correspondents in the Eastern province also reported incidents of similar celebrations coming from Buddhist viharas and other paramilitary offices aligned to Pillaiyan.

Tamil human rights activists have expressed concern of a possible increased crackdown by security forces following Rajapaksa’s appointment. Under his government, tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were massacred in a massive military offensive, whilst Tamil political activists were murdered or forcibly disappeared.