Retired Rear Admiral and Minister of Public Security, Sarath Weerasekara has attacked Jaffna protesters claiming that no-one has a right to commemorate "dead terrorists".
None will & shud be allowed to commemorate dead #Terrorists of a proscribed org undr the guise of remembring innocent civilians & create disharmony!#lka https://t.co/eDPAXAFSOq pic.twitter.com/pikBXqqW6u
— Sarath Weerasekera (@ReAdSarath) January 10, 2021
Weerasekara has a record of attacking Tamil rights. Previously he had called for the banning of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and rallied against the Sri Lankan national anthem being sung in Tamil. In 2020, he pledged to strip the 13th Amendment of clauses that would be crucial to establishing local control and provincial councils. He has also said that NGOs and civil society activists should be charged with treason and sentenced to death.
This statement follows the on-going protests in Jaffna against the destruction of a Mullivaikal memorial established to commemorate the tens of thousands of Tamils slaughtered during the Sri Lankan military offensive.
Since the end of the armed conflict, the military has continued its heavy presence within the Tamil homeland and have actively threatened and intimidated those seeking to privately commemorate their loved ones in November.
During the protest, Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force patrolled the university prohibiting the peaceful demonstrators from entering the university.