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Sri Lanka deploys STF as court bans distribution of Kanji

Sri Lankan police deployed the paramilitary Special Task Force in Amparai to threaten Tamil women activists with arrest if they distributed a rice porridge dish today, following a court order to clamp down on Tamil Genocide commemoration events.

Dozens of officers were seen surrounding and threatening the women, as they attempted to prepare and distribute Mullivaikkal Kanji, a tradition that Eelam Tamils have practised to honour victims of the genocide committed by Sri Lankan security forces. 

Police threatened to arrest Pushparaj Dushanandan, the Amparai organizer for the Tamil National People’s Front and Thambirasa Selvarani, President of the Amparai District Missing Persons' Association if they served the Mullivaikkal Kanji.

The Office-in-charge of the Periyaneelavanai Police Station in Amparai JSK Weerasinghe showed an injunction order they had obtained from the Kalmunai Magistrate Court banning the commemoration of genocide. The order states that the memorial event might reinstate "terrorist activities".

The latest clampdown comes after Sri Lankan police arrested four individuals serving Kanji on Monday, with video footage showing them dragging a screaming Tamil woman. 

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As part of the commemorations, Tamils across the North-East prepare and distribute kanji. Kanji - a porridge of rice and water - was the only food available to Tamils trapped in the Sri Lankan government-declared ‘No Fire Zones’ as food and medicines were heavily restricted from entering the Vanni during the final phase of the armed conflict.


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