Paramilitary allegedly backed by India effects arrest of Jaffna University students

In a revealing turn of affairs following the Heroes Day incidents at the university of Jaffna, four Jaffna University student representatives were detained by occupying Sri Lanka’s police, based on a complaint made against seven students by a newly created paramilitary, called Sri TELO that is operating along with the SL military. The paramilitary, consisting of some Tamils recently brought from camps in India and allegedly backed by New Delhi, hurriedly opened an office adjacent to the university campus a week ago and lodged a complaint with the SL police at Koappaay that the named university students had engaged in throwing petrol bombs at its office on Thursday 3:30 a.m. According to unconfirmed reports, the paramilitary functioned with the SL forces in entering the hostels and in the attack on students.

Neighbours of the paramilitary office say that they have not heard any bomb blast.

The paramilitary tried to publish the news in local print and electronic media, but except one or two no one accepted the story.

In the current circumstances, no one could throw a petrol bomb in the university neighbourhood highly guarded by the SL forces, media sources said.

Five of the students who were named by the paramilitary come from outer districts and they had gone to their places well before the alleged incident. Some of them were past student leaders who had left the university a year ago.

The story was fabricated to drag the university student representatives leading a peaceful struggle into mischievous cases, tarnish the image of the struggle of the university students and to ultimately silence them, the news sources further said.

Following summons from the SL police, the Jaffna University administration headed by acting Vice Chancellor Prof Vel Nampi produced two students before the SL police at Koappaay on Friday morning. University faculty members, including the law faculty lecturer Mr. Kuruparan Kumaravadivel accompanied the students.

The other two students were arrested at their houses.

The students were questioned for the whole day at the police station. The questions were not on the ‘petrol bomb’ but on knowing whether there were any background forces for the Heroes Day observations of the university students.

The arrested students are Shanmugan Solomon, Kanagasabapathi Jenamejayan, Paramalingam Dharshanath and Ganeshamoorthi Sudarshan. Dharshanath is the secretary of the student association, who has been subjected to targeted attacks earlier by the SL military operated squads.

The faculty members who accompanied the students requested their release, but the SL police wanted to detain them and produce them in the court.

The four students are detained under ‘terrorism’ charges and would be taken outside of Jaffna for further ‘investigations’, news sources said.

The Jaffna University teachers staged a half-day token strike protesting the arrest of the student representatives.


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The so-called SRI-TELO is claimed to be a group of people who had come out of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and had started the group in the name of its slain leader, Mr Sri Sabaratnam.

University Teachers Association (UTA) protesting Friday against the attack and harassments against the students. But TELO’s current political organiser and former TNA parliamentarian Mr. Sivajilingam refutes the claim. These people don’t know who was Sri Sabaratnam at all, Sivajilingam commented.

A person called Uthayan operating from Colombo coordinates SRI-TELO.

Its Jaffna co-ordinator is one called Senthooran, who claims himself a journalist. He was not connected to any media at any time, say local journalists.

Posing himself a journalist Senthooran is engaged in collecting intelligence for the SL forces. He was collecting intelligence inside the university campus too. At a time when the SL military and its own intelligence were unable to handle the unfolding situation, the new paramilitary has been deployed to help them, news sources said.

Senthooran was found with the SL forces on Tuesday and Wednesday in identifying student activists and in helping the SL forces in capturing them, the news sources further said.

According to informed sources, SRI-TELO is made out of people brought from camps in India.

Sri Sabaratnam’s TELO was known for its affinities with New Delhi’s intelligence. Sri Sabaratnam was assassinated by the LTTE in 1985.

New Delhi’s complicity in the Vanni War and continued military assistance to genocidal Sri Lanka are not secrets.

Oppression against Jaffna University uprising and its democratic remembrance of heroes is getting deeper and deeper, political observers in Jaffna said.

Occupying SL military banning even routine religious rituals and toll of bells in the temples started on the first post-Mu’l’livaaykkaal Heroes Day in November 2009, when New Delhi’s Minister of External Affairs, S.M. Krishna, visited Jaffna.

Meanwhile, the wording of the press release of ‘concern’ by the US embassy in Colombo, pushing back the main issue to become secondary, is nothing but a subtle insult to injury aimed at the students paying homage to the heroes, political activists in Jaffna said.

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