A confederation of people’s forums for humanitarian work was formed in Jaffna on Saturday morning, when representatives of various civil groups and civil activists met at the NGO Centre located at the Temple Road in the city. The decision to form the confederation was unanimously resolved at the meeting. President of the NGOs in Jaffna, Mr. CVK Sivagnanam and the Jaffna University Students Union President, Mr S. Thavabalasingham were elected respectively as Coordinator and Secretary of the confederation. Student union of the University of Jaffna took the initiative to convene the meeting. Such a confederation of civil groups to face human rights violations was formed in Jaffna on an earlier occasion too, when the ‘peace keeping’ force of India was occupying Jaffna.
President of the Hindu priests association, S. Vasudeva Kurukkal, Rev. Fr. Ravichandran of the Catholic Church, Maulavi M.A. Faizer representing Muslims in Jaffna, President of the Koddoadai Fishermen Association, Mr Kandeepan, Secretary of the North Ilangkai Journalists Association, Mr. Ponraja, Secretary of the consortium of Community Centres, Mr P. Kanagaratnam and Vice President of the People’s Power Movement, Mr. Ariyakuddi Indraraja were elected as Committee Members.
The confederation in Jaffna plans to form similar umbrella organisations of civil activists in the other Tamil areas too to attend to the human rights situation.
The committee of the confederation has decided to form advisory panels having members from Tamil political parties committed to the Tamil national cause.
The president of the JUSU, Mr. Thavabalasingham, was recently attacked in a brutal way, allegedly by intelligence operatives of the occupying Sri Lanka military. Another student activist of the Jaffna University was also attacked in Vanni a few days ago.
The Jaffna University students who were engaged in a protest in boycotting classes since the attack on their student leader decided to resume attending classes after hopes that a wider civil society movement would attend to the existing situation in Jaffna.
Participants of the Saturday’s meeting felt the need for immediate formation of a confederation of civil groups, to project and attend to realities in Jaffna, after seeing how an international team of parliamentarians led by New Delhi’s Congress parliamentarian Sudharshana Natchippan on Thursday was misleading the perception of realities in the country of Eezham Tamils.