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Tamil MPs summoned to court for participating in P2P march

The Kalmunai Magistrate Court has issued summons to seven people who participated in the Pottuvil to Polikandy (P2P) march earlier this month.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam is amongst the seven who have been summoned, the Colombo Gazette reported

TNA MP R Shanakiyan at the P2P protest 

This development comes days after Sri Lankan police across the North-East initiated legal proceedings against a string of Tamil politicians, civil society leaders and activists who participated in the P2P rally for defying court bans against the march. The police have accused the participants of contempt of court. 

Police in Point Pedro, Nelliyadi and Valvettithurai have filed 'B Report' cases against Tamil politicians, including TNA MPs M.A.Sumanthiran and R Shanakiyan, Jaffna Mayor V. Manivannan and former Northern Provincial Council member M. K. Shivajilingam. Each police stattion filed its own case under Section 55(1) and 56(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act. 

Tamil parliamentarians joined tens of thousands of Tamils and Muslims as they marched from Pottuvil to Polikandy earlier this month, mobilising around demands for the United Nations and the international community to heed calls for justice and accountability. 

Inquiries related to the case were heard in the Point Pedro Magistrate Court earlier this week and the court postponed the next hearing of the case filed by Point Pedro police to March 29. The hearing of the other two cases, filed by Valvettithurai and Nelliyadi police, have been postponed to May.

Sri Lankan police trying to block Former Northern Provincial Council member Thurairasa Ravikaran from welcoming P2P protesters in Mullaitivu

Mullaitivu police have also filed similar ‘B Report’ cases against Tamil politicians in Mullaitivu Magistrate Court, including Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) MP Charles Nirmalanathan, Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, TNPF General Secretary Selvarajah Kajendran, TNA MP Selvam Adaikalanathan, TNA MP Vino Noharathalingam, former Northern Provincial Council member Thurairasa Ravikaran and other civil society leaders, religious leaders and social activists. 

The police accused the individuals of defying a ban imposed by the Mullaitivu Magistrate Court against the rally entering the territory of its jurisdiction. The P2P march entered Mullaitivu on February 5.

Last week, Sri Lanka's public security minister Sarath Weerasekara told Hiru TV that the government intended to file cases against Tamil protesters and added that Tamil politicians who attended needed to be teargassed and arrested. He went on to add that he had ordered the withdrawal of Sumanthiran's Special Task Force security team. 

 

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