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Sinhala students attack govt officer for playing national anthem in Tamil

Photograph Tamilwin

Sinhalese students at the Eastern University's in Batticaloa, attacked a local government officer on Saturday for playing the Sri Lankan national anthem in Tamil.

The development officer, 29 year old Paththakutti Suman, who works at Eravur government office, has been admitted to Senkaladi hospital with multiple injuries.

Witnessing the attack, Tamil students attempted to intervene, reported BattiNews, also sustaining injuries.

"Today, at an exhibition at Batticaloa University, the [Sri Lankan] national anthem was played in Tamil. Sinhalese students opposed this, leading to the anthem being played in Sinhalese afterwards," Mr Suman told LankaSri news from his hospital bed.

"After this finished playing, us divisional secretary officers were walking outside.. I don't know what happened. The Sinhalese students attacked us and [I am] at hospital receiving treatment," he added.

"The police were informed and they arrived there. Approximately 100 [Sinhalese] students were there taking part. One of them pushed me from behind. I fell down and then they attacked me from behind. I fell and hit my head. The other officers took me away from there."

"The reason why I was attacked was because the [Sri Lankan] national anthem was playing Tamil. We had nothing to do with the playing of the [Sri Lankan] national anthem in Tamil, because the final day was organised by the Eastern University itself. We were attacked because we went to regulate the event"

The incident took place at a three day exhibition about innovative manufacture and production, taking place since May 14 at the university's Vanthaarumoolai East campus.

A complaint has been filed with Eravur police, who are reportedly carrying out investigation into the attack.