Sri Lanka Brief
NewsInternational Human Rights Day: A Memorable Day of Defiance for Freedom and Democracy:

International Human Rights Day: A Memorable Day of Defiance for Freedom and Democracy:

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International Human Rights Day was turned into a Day of Defiance by all who participated and lit a flame of hope for Freedom and Democracy for the People of Lanka. in the cradle of Jaffna.International Human Rights Day was commemorated in Jaffna with the collaboration of the following


political parties and civil society organizations:

Tamil National Alliance – TNA:

TELO- Thamil Eelam Liberation Oraganisation:

NSSP: Nava Samasamaja Party:

Socialist Party:

LSSP ( Vikalpa Group)

Socialist Alliance: Com.

CCP-M: Ceylon Communist Party ( Maoist):

Committee for the Investigation of Disappeared Persons:

Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners:

The public rally had begun in Jaffna town at around 10.00 am on the 10th December 2011. People had
gathered to support the rally and to make representations regarding their grievances, particularly about
those disappeared and unaccounted. This public rally had been intimidated by the Police, with an attempt
to break it up. Several women were rough-handled. Former member of Parliament and leader of TELO,
Sivajilingam who attempted to protect them was threatened. However, the media stood ground and covered
the event.

The delegation of 48 persons from Colombo who had traveled by bus was detained by the Police for two
hours on the road in Jaffna. They were asked to disembark from the bus and all banners, posters, leaflets and
newspapers were confiscated and thrown on the side of the road. They were told that they could not proceed
to the town. This delegation went into defiance mode. They asserted that this was International Human
Rights Day, and no one should dare to deny us this constitutional right of freedom of assembly and speech.
They declared that they would not be prevented from participating at the rally, even at the cost of being
arrested or even attacked. By then the army too had been mobilized. Busses were on hand for summary
arrest. The Colombo delegation demanded that they be told what law they were supposed to be breaking.
Even the demand by Hon. Mavai Senadirajah, who arrived at the spot, to allow us to participate was simply
ignored.

The senior Police officers who had arrived said that this was not Colombo, but Jaffna. The delegation
inquired whether there was a different law and rule in Jaffna that did not apply to the rest of the country. We
were told that Jaffna had been brought under their rule, since it was the armed forces that had suppressed
the insurgency with much sacrifice. We asserted that there was no constitutionally recognized rule in Jaffna
or anywhere, where the normal rule of Law and constitutional rights did not prevail, particularly since
Emergency Regulations have now been said to be repealed. The delegation declared in one voice that they
recognize only one Rule of Law and one Constitution which guaranteed their fundamental, rights and that
they would proceed to the meeting at any cost. They informed the office of the IGP of their stand.

It was only then that permission was granted for the Colombo delegation to proceed to the rally in Jaffna
town, which they did with a spirit of defiance. At the rally, their spokespersons asserted that they have
not come to celebrate or commemorate International Human Rights Day, but only to mourn the death of
democratic freedom in our Land, and demanded that the State account for the disappeared, for the endless
misery of the Tamil people and present a political solution that recognized the political status of the Tamil
nation, without any further prevarication. International Human Rights Day was turned into a Day of
Defiance by all who participated and lit a flame of hope for Freedom and Democracy for the People of Lanka
in the cradle of Jaffna.

MDDR

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