Tamils stage protest to highlight issues in SL
“It has been seven years since the war ended. Tamil people are yet to receive reasonable solutions to their grievances,” he said, referring to the defeat of LTTE which was fighting for an independent state for minority Tamils.
Army crushed the Tamil Tigers after a three decade-long conflict in 2009 and eliminated top LTTE
leadership including V Prabhakaran who had made Jaffna rebels’ capital. Tamil Makkal National Front organised Saturday’s protest march and a rally to highlight issues faced by the community.
The demonstrators asked the government to halt Sinhala majority settlements and stop building Buddhist religious shrines in Tamil areas, return of the Tamil civilian lands held for military purposes, release of Tamil political prisoners and assistance in tracing missing people.
Analysts said this was the first time the northerners took part in a public gathering of this scale since Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena took over in January last year. “Businesses remain shut in the Jaffna town in solidarity,” the residents said. The main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance, shunned the demonstration.
“The TNA pledged Tamils a federal solution at the last election. So the Tamils can be only happy with a federal solution by merging the north and east,” TNA lawmaker Dharmalingam Siddarthan said.