Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 25 September 2016





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Government Gazette

Eluha Thamil protest march in Jaffna

Hundreds of party supporters and activists of a coalition of northern Tamil political parties and social action groups marched in Jaffna yesterday morning voicing several demands related to some immediate social problems and the long-term settlement of the ethnic issue.

Businesses in the northern city remained closed in response to an appeal by the protest movement, the Tamil People’s Council, for a ‘strike’ in their support, according to reports from the peninsula.

The protest, by the Tamil People’s Council, which started at 9 yesterday morning, commenced marched from two places of symbolic importance, according to the organizers one from the Jaffna University compound and the other the Nallur Temple.

The marchers voiced seven demand slogans during the protest which was named Eluha Tamil (Rise Tamils!) including a call for ‘self-rule’ with a merged north and east. The slogans called for a federal system and opposed the unitary state.

The seven demands also included the demand that Tamil aspirations be recognized in the new constitutional reforms, that an international inquiry be conducted on the closing stages of the war, the pull-out of military units from the Nothern province, the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and the release of Tamil detainees. There were also calls for an end to the government’s allegedly intentional moves to reduce Tamil population density in the region.

The protesters also called on the Government to do more to combat the current heavy consumption of drugs and alcohol among the Tamil youth.

When asked by Sunday Observer as to why they adopted Eluha Tamil name which is similar in meaning to the ‘Pongu Tamil’ events regularly held by the LTTE, PLOTE leader and TNA MP Dharmalingam Siddharthan said that it was that people were emotionally attached to and was a way of mobilizing people.

When asked if Transitional Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) was also a stake holder in the protest, he said numerous organizations had extended support who were not necessarily directly members of the coalition. “We accept any support, as we need it,” he said.


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