Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The continuing tacit backing of sponsored violence in Jaffna

On Sunday around 2pm a leader of the Arts Faculty of the Jaffna University Students, Subramanium Thavabalasingham was attacked on Palm Road near his student hostel and also not too far away from the Indian Consulate in Jaffna. He was assaulted by about 12 people who were waiting for him, hence premeditated and planned near an Army Camp and while his friends were a little way behind, he was hit on the head. His friends were fearful of defending him and watched the proceedings from a distance and then when he came towards them, was helped and taken to the Jaffna Hospital where he is currently undergoing treatment.

His attackers came and went on motorbikes making it quite clear that this was premeditated. He had been quite vociferous in attacking the concept of the Grease Yakas, and not a sporadic thing, but one that appeared to have been sponsored by the security forces in Jaffna to take some kind of revenge on the people they did not like. His attackers some of whom spoke Tamil and therefore could have been EPDP members.

This sort of unprovoked attack on a citizen walking on the streets is just reprehensible and should  not be tolerated in a civilized society. It should be investigated fully by the police, who I am afraid will hope this incident will die down and will do nothing to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The English and Sinhala Papers barely mentioned this incident in their reporting, but the Tamil papers both the Virakeseri and Uthayan gave a lot of prominence to the incident as the Tamil readership is undoubtedly more concerned about such incidents, while the rest do not appear to be as concerned.

It is a sign of the times and sad that the citizens of Sri Lanka are divided upon language lines and for all three languages the information and news given to each is very different to the extent that it could be construed that they live in three different countries if one just read the newspapers.

Obviously the Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka are more sensitive to this event and require as much information and the newspapers are catering to their readers. This goes further to make the point I already made two blog entries ago, where I vehemently disagreed with the author that it is up to the TNA to give the Government a chance and integrate the communities so that differences can be minimized. I repeat what I said then, that it is incidents like this that continue, where the onus must be on the Sri Lankan government first to stop this kind of illegal brutalization of innocent people in broad daylight before we can expect the Tamil community to cooperate. Until the law enforcement investigate and bring to book and prevent such happenings in future we just cannot expect the citizens of Jaffna to cow down to the whim of this Government.

The government must first clean up its own house before it can get others to clean up theirs.

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