The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) leader, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, expressed his concerns and “sadness at Jaffna University turning a blind eye” to Jaffna-based lawyer Dr Kumaravadivel Guruparan’s resignation as Senior Lecturer of the Department of Law at the University of Jaffna, last week.
At a meeting held in Jaffna earlier this week, Ponnambalam said, “Guruparan was an advocate for Tamils experiencing brutal sufferings and terrible discriminative attacks from the Sri Lankan military in the North-East. He had taken legal actions on several occasions against the atrocities committed by the military.”
Ponnambalam insisted that the resignation was a move pressured by “the military and racists who could not tolerate Guruparan’s unhesitant commitment to give a voice and fight for the Tamils who have been victim to the injustices of the military.”
He highlighted the military’s displeasure in Guruparan’s work and the state’s attempts to ban Guruparan from legal practice;
“He never yielded to the pressures of the military. Even during the previous government under ‘good governance’, he was blocked and told he was not allowed to appear in court cases but he still gave Tamils a voice.”
“The military has continually harassed the University Grants Commission on numerous occasions and this has continued under the current Gotabaya regime. This repression against Guruparan is the first effort made by racists and the military to stifle the development of Jaffna University,” he added.
Ponnambalam also emphasised that while it was “upsetting” to see Guruparan resign and the university committee seemingly “unbothered” at the decision, he understood and “welcomed” the decision from Guruparan.
“Especially as the country continues to become more militarised, the decision by [Guruparan] is a welcome one. He should now be more profound in pursuing even more legal action against the government for its racist atrocities,” he stated.
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