Tamils denied of observing collective remembrance in Batticaloa
Sri Lankan Police in Batticaloa has been harassing the families of the victims of 1990 Puthukkudiyiruppu massacre on Sunday when they gathered to observe the annual memorial event in front of the statue of 17 civilians who were slain by ‘homeguards’ paramilitary operated by the Sri Lankan military in 1990. Tamil Councillor K. Thurairajasingam, who was present at the event with parliamentarians P. Selvarasa and P. Ariyanethiran blames that the SL Police was blocking the peaceful event with a court order from an Acting Magistrate. This is the second incident in recent days where the SL Police, under false charges of ‘causing disturbance to peace’, has blocked the kith and kin of the victims of the past massacres from paying tribute to their slain victims by lighting candles together.
The people had gathered with Tamil National Alliance politicians on Sunday. As soon as the people gathered, Sri Lankan Police constables were deployed at the site. They were wandering around the location, causing disturbance in the minds of the people, who had gathered there as they have been doing throughout the past 23 years.
When the people started to light candles at the memorial site, SL police officials interrupted and instructed the people to find a temple to light their candles in memory of the slain victims.
The SL police officers had a court order, which they had obtained from Acting Magistrate M. Noordeen. The court order was against Mr Varatharajan, who is the son of one of the slain 17 victims of the brutal massacre.
Later, when the people gathered at a nearby temple, riot control police was deployed intimidating the people, Mr Thurairajasingam said.
The 17 victims were slain by the homeguards, who used swords and knives to brutally kill the 17 Tamils at Puthukkudiyiruppu.
The SL police had also blocked a similar memorial event on 09 September at Chaththuruk-ko’ndaan, where 184 Tamil villagers were brutally slain by the Sri Lanka Army in 1990.