The General Secretary of Democratic Peoples Front (DPF), Kumaraguruparan, who participated in both the protests in the city and in Thellppazhai in Jaffna this week told media that the way the Sri Lankan legal system and the police were deployed, and the way the peaceful protesters were attacked while they were returning home, raised questions whether the SL State wants the people to opt for an armed struggle again.
Such suppressive and violent responses by the SL state apparatus has justified the armed struggle waged by Tamils in the past, he said. “You don’t attack buses carrying participants of a peaceful protest,” he said. In the meantime, grassroot political activists in Jaffna also recalled that the participants who went in a bus to attend the annual meeting of the Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK), which was held in Batticaloa were also subjected to a similar attack.
On the one hand the SL State says that violence is not the way and that reconciliation has to be achieved peacefully through talks, but on the other hand it has chosen to respond with violence on the people who peacefully sought their houses and lands back, Mr Kumaraguruparan said asking how the SL State could achieve true reconciliation. “This is like choosing to beat the child, which is crying for milk,” he said adding that his party, based in the Western province in the South, would put forward the question to the SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is high time that the government realizes that such conducts are detrimental to the reconciliation process, he added.
Selvaraja Kajendren, former TNA parliamentarian and the general secretary of the Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF), said that the assault on the bus in which uprooted people were returning home after the protest, had similarities to other attacks that have taken place targeting civil society activists and people who participate in democratic forms of mobilization. Many of the passengers in the bus were aged mothers and fathers, Mr Kajendren said adding that five unknown persons who had followed the bus in motorbikes had launched the assault on the bus.
Meanwhile, uprooted civilians who were in the bus, told TamilNet Wednesday that the attackers intercepted their bus after following it for a while and began attacking the bus with stones and waste-oil. The attackers shouted at the passengers threatening them from participating in protests. “Do you dare to come again to protest” was their question. However, when the attackers attempted to enter the bus, the driver of the bus managed to drive away. Otherwise, the attackers would have assaulted the passengers, they said.
When the bus reached Punnaalaikkadduvan junction, Valikaamam North Piratheasa Chapai leader Sugirthan and Mavai Senathirajah MP arrived at the spot and provided safe passage to the bus from there to their displaced locality.