Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jaffna University Students Released-Sri Lanka

Jaffna University Students Released Sri Lanka
2 students of Jaffna University Student Council President Bawananthan and Science Faculty third year student Solomon were released on January 22. Though Bavananthan and Solomon have been released two other jaffna undergrads are still being held at Welikanda. They are Student union secretary Dharshananth and Arts Faculty union President Janamejayan.Both are expected to be released shortly.

In November last year 11 students were arrested over allegations of a petrol bomb attack on a TELO office and for engaging in other pro-LTTE activities. Subsequently seven students were released.
The students had undergone training at a rehabilitation camp since November last year at a military camp in Welikanda and later in Vavuniya. 

They were brought from Welikanda to Vavuniya after undergoing “rehabilitation” at welikanda for a period of more than six weeks.Both undergrads were released at the Police Terrorism Investigation Dept TID) office in Vavuniya in the presence of family members and Jaffna University Vice-chancellor Vasanthi Arasaratnam and senior members of the Varsity academic staff.
Several Jaffna varsity students were taken into custody by the Police in Jaffna after lamps were lit on campus premises on November 27th 2012 at 6.05 pm to observe the “Maa Veerar Naal”(Great Heroes day)of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)which remains a proscribed “terrorist”organization in Sri Lanka. Arrests were also made in connection to an alleged arson attack on the office of a Tamil organization known as “Sri-TELO” in Nallur.
Among arrested students in Jaffna eleven were brought to the TID office on November 30th 2012 and detained for further interrogation, The arrests sparked off a boycott of lectures campaign in Jaffna by fellow undergrads. The Academic and non – academic staff unions at Jaffna varsity also issued statements in support of students.
Jaffna University Vice-chancellor Dr.Vasanthi Arasaratnam made great efforts to get the arrested students released by interacting quietly with Govt authorities. She personally went to Vavuniya and visited the students in custody.
The vice-chancellor also met with Jaffna Army commander Gen Hathurusinghe, Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Higher Education Minister SB Dissanayake on separate occasions and engaged in quiet diplomacy to get the students released.

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