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Tamil school children the target of militarisation - students trained for badminton by army

As schools continue to be a focus of militarisation for the Sri Lankan state, the army further entrenched its occupation of the Tamil-inhabited North-East under the guise of a badminton training programme for young Tamil students. 

The badminton training programme was to “popularize the game of badminton among the youth in the Jaffna peninsula.” 

Tamil students of 35 schools and sports clubs in Point Pedro, Nagarkovil, Maradankerni, Aiyyakachchi, Pallai and Kaddaikadu areas were subject to the militarisation scheme. The programme was headed by 55 Division troops under the guidance of the General Officer Commanding, 55 Division, Major General Prasanna Gunarathne according to an official army website.

The Sri Lankan army has been credibly accused of committing war crimes, with the state-orchestrated Mullivaikkal massacre decried as a massacre which saw tens of thousands of Tamils massacred. 

Since 2009, the Sri Lankan military has ramped up its militarization and surveillance of the North-East. Amidst the culture of surveillance and prosecution instilled by the military’s presence, Tamils in the North-East continue to protest against the militarization of Tamil civil society. 

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