Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Sri Lankan police arrest four Tamils for distributing Mullivaikkal kanji in Trincomalee

Sri Lankan police arrested four Tamils this evening for distributing Mullivaikkal Kanji in Sampur, as part of commemorations of the 15th anniversary of the Tamil genocide. 

Kamaleswaran Themila, Kamaleswaran Vijitha, Kalirajah Sujani and the Tamil National People's Front Muttur organiser, Hariharakumar, were arrested after they were threatened by a Sri Lankan police officer earlier today while they were preparing the kanji.

Video footage shows two Sri Lankan police officers dragging two of the women across the floor. 

The arrests cames after police officers obtained a court order from Muttur Magistrate Court which prohibits the distribution of Mullivaikkal Kanji and any events planned to commemorate the Tamil genocide for the next 14 days.

The arrests and court orders come as the Tamil homeland commenced Tamil Genocide Remembrance Week today. Across the North-East, commemorative activities are taking place to remember the tens of thousands of Tamils who were slaughtered in Sri Lanka's genocidal offensive in 2009. 

As part of the commemorations, Tamils across the North-East prepared and distributed 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.

Although the court order prohibits the individuals from participating in remembrance-related activities, it also states that the order "applies to all people" and that they should not gather at schools or temples and vehicular protests cannot be carried out either. 

Each year, the Sri Lankan government find new ways to repress memorialisation activities in the North-East, particularly in the lead up to May 18, also known as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day.  

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.