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Another Example Of Army Rule In Jaffna

Another Example Of Army Rule In Jaffna

2012 Dec 04

November has been an eventful month, not very good omen for the Rajapaksa regime. First it was their rush for the impeachment against the Chief Justice, with much resistance emerging from the legal fraternity and the public. Then came the brutal killing of 27 inmates at the Welikada Prison; a blatant murder than anything else. The month ended by the military and the police desperately attacking the students at the University of Jaffna who were engaged in peaceful activities; revealing to the whole world that the minority Tamils are still under the military yoke.
The three human rights issues emerged were (1) the independence of the judiciary, (2) security of the persons under state custody and (3) the rights of minorities to dissent and protest peacefully.
Who can now believe that the military did not indulge in war crimes during the last stages of the war?

Grieving for the Dead 

Maarveerar (in Tamil) or Mahaviru (in Sinhala) celebrations have been common events in Sri Lanka for the last three decades or so both in the South and in the North, commemorating different heroes of the LTTE and the JVP, however much they were misled ideologically or they misled the others on a destructive path. Only time and wise policies will sort out these matters, taking the young away from violent and destructive political causes.

By mere coincidence, both celebrations fall in the month of November. The JVP celebrated their heroes’ day on the 13th November in Colombo and in many other places (including Japan!). There were no army or police interventions. It is true that the LTTE, in contrast, is a proscribed organization in Sri Lanka and in many other countries. But their political party, the Peoples’ Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT) was a registered organization until last year and the name was taken out from the registered list because of its failure to submit annual reports.

Maarveerar Day is not only about ‘heroes.’ It is also about the dead and the deceased. It is a day of moaning and in the case of the Tamils in recent times there are thousands and thousands of innocent civilians who had to ‘sacrifice their lives’ to defeat the LTTE by the army. They were in fact killed because of inhuman military strategy. The Tamils cannot be blamed to consider the SL army as the Sinhala army. There is no other day of moaning left for them to grieve about their loved ones – fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sisters and brothers and not to speak of other relatives or friends.
November is also the month of ‘all saints and all souls’ for the Christians and it was reported from Jaffna that the police and army secret services were poking their noses into church activities and sermons to see whether there were any semblance of moaning for the dead of the last stages of the war. Many Christian priests were extremely nervous of this poisoned atmosphere.

Maarveerar day this year, 27 November, also coincided with the Hindu Tamil celebration of Karthigai Deepam when the devotees light oil lamps to dispel three impurities of “egoism, selfish action and delusion.’ Particularly among the young, the ‘sisters supposed to pray for their brothers’ wellbeing and the brothers in turn promise to safeguard the sisters in times of trouble.” I am quoting from a reliable website. It is said that this is what was going on between the Ananda Kumaraswami women’s hostel and the Balasingham men’s hostel at the Jaffna University possibly also with a political overtone when the army intervened. There were undoubtedly oil lamps that were lit. The Lord Shiva is supposed to appear in the form of flame to dispel evil.

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