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Sri Lankan police ramp up questioning of Tamil politicians over P2P participation

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) politicians were subjected to questioning by Sri Lankan police at their respective offices yesterday over their participation in the Pottuvil to Polikandy (P2P) march earlier this month. 

Sri Lankan police officers from six different stations arrived at TNA MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam's office to question him for his participation in the peaceful five day rally. Police officers from Muttur, Kattankudy, Kilinochchi, Mankulam, Valaichenai and Sampanthurai police stations all recorded Shanakiyan's statement. 

Mankulam police arrived at TNA MP Selvam Adaikalanathan's office in Mannar at 9am for questioning and recorded his statement regarding his participation in the P2P protests. Vavuniya police officers later arrived at the MP's to obtain further statements. Despite two rounds of questioning at his office, Adaikalanathan has been ordered to appear at the Oddusuddan police station for further interrogation.  

TNPF leader Gajendran Ponnambalam and General Secretary Selvarajah Kajendran were also subjected to questioning at their office. 

TNA MP S Shritharan who was also questioned by the police at his office, explained that the P2P march was to bring attention to ongoing issues faced by the Tamil people in the North-East. 

In their interrogation, Mankulam police asked TNA MP Vino Noharathalingam why he had violated a court order to attend the P2P rally but Noharathalingam told the police that he did not receive any court order. He told the officers that he joined P2P protesters as their representative in the democratic struggle for the rights of Tamil people. 

Murunkan police went to the home of Nanattan Pradeshiya Sabha chairperson Thiruselvam Paranjothy and ordered him to go to the police station to record his statement. Paranjothy stated that he participated in the rally as a representative of the people.

Earlier this week, former Northern Provincial Council member, Thurairasa Ravikaran was summoned by Mullaitivu police to obtain a statement regarding his participation. 

Several Tamil politicians across the North-East are being subjected to repeated questioning and scrutiny over their participation in the P2P march weeks after Sri Lanka's public security minister Sarath Weerasekara warned that the government intended to file cases against the protesters. 

P2P protesters mobilised around demands for the United Nations and international community to heed Tamil calls for justice and accountability, but were met with heavy resistance from the state. Sri Lanka's security forces attempted to break up the rally at various points by obtaining court orders and injunctions to block the protest. 

Protesters were threatened and harassed by the security forces who took photographs of protesters and noted down their personal details in an attempt to intimidate them. Despite various acts of intimidation, protesters continued their demonstration to bring attention to their core demands, including an end to the ongoing militarisation of the homeland. 

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