[Increased military deployment in Jaffna; Tamilnet photo]
Once again the Sri Lankan Military has stepped up its suppression in Tamil areas especially in Jaffna to block any public remembrance of the war dead on 27th November. 27th November was named as the Hero’s Day by the LTTE. University of Jaffna has been closed by the military since 1st December reports Colombo Mirror.
Tamil net reports that three youths have been arrested and interrogated on alleged procession of Hero’s day posters.
Tamil guardian reports quoting BBC Sinhala service that military is about to investigate the Uthayan, alleging that the newspaper had celebrated LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s birthday.
Meanwhile the Tamil National People’s Front’s office has been surrounded by Sri Lankan military personnel since this afternoon at 4pm local time, the party has told Tamil Guardian.
The original news reports follows:
Jaffna University under military siege closed till December 1
The University of Jaffna has officially been closed from today till December 1, after Sri Lankan army stepped up its presence and pressure on the university community, aiming to prevent any effort to mark LTTE Heroes’ Day commemoration which falls tomorrow.
According to reports from Jaffna, several hundreds of heavily-armed military personnel have taken full control of both the entrance of the university and ordered the entire students to vacate, even from their hostels. The military has also increased their foot patrol and random road checks in the area.
Having been informed of the reports that the students have, somehow, celebrated the 60 th birthday of the Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran today, hundreds of soldiers in military motorbikes entered the university premises and carried out a thorough search operation.
As tension grew, the University administration announced a week-long vacation for all the faculties from Wednesday till December 1.
“The University administration, unable to prevent the military from interfering with the academic activities of the students, have announced a week-long vacation for the entire units. Even the hostel students have been asked to vacate with immediate effect,” a Jaffna University staff told Colombo Mirror via phone.
“The University is out of bounds for the students and the staff. The military has taken full control of the area. Some soldiers have even got into the buildings in the neighbourhood and are monitoring the activities of the students in and around the area. The entire area looks like a battle-zone,” he said on condition of anonymity.
On Monday, hand-written posters carrying death threat against Jaffna University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) president Rajakumar and four students named Nivas, Thamilselvan, Ainkaran and Britto were found pasted in the vicinity of the university.
One poster in Tamil slang said “Will kill Nivas, Thamilselvan, Ainkaran, Britto and Rajakumar” while the other read “These people are reviving the LTTE. We will kill them. We will not allow Heroes’ Week commemorations”.
The LTTE Heroes’ week is annually commemorated on November 27. The Sri Lankan Security Forces in the past threatened, attacked and arrested several students activists for commemorating the LTTE’s Heroes’ Day.
Tamil youth interrogated for alleged possession of Heroes Day poster
Sri Lankan ’Terrorist’ Investigation Division (TID) is interrogating a youth Tamil activist, S. Sulaxan, from Meesaalai in Thenmaraadchi for alleged possession of Tamil Eelam Heroes Day posters, according to SL police in Thenmaraadchi. In the meantime, relatives of the detained youth said SL military intelligence operatives had seized a laptop computer from the youth, who has been a grassroot Tamil national activist in Meesaalai.
The occupying military soldiers on Tuesday night arrested Sulaxan while he was riding a motorbike.
The SL military accused Sulaxan of being in possession of a poster paying tribute to Tamil Heroes on Maaveerar Naa’l.
Mr Sulaxan has been handed over to the TID for interrogation, the SL police said.
SL intelligence launches investigation into Uthayan over LTTE leader 60th birthday article
Sri Lankan intelligence officers are to launch an investigation into the Uthayan, alleging that the newspaper had celebrated LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s birthday, reports BBC Sinhala.
The investigation was launched after the Jaffna based daily published an article which included a photograph of a billboard in India, which featured Prabhakaran’s image and the words: “60th birthday of the leader of the Tamils. The auspicious day the god of our nation was incarnated.”
Also appearing on the billboard were images of Argentine guerilla leader Che Guevara and Indian social reformer B R Ambedkar.
The Jaffna-based newspaper has faced constant threats from the Sri Lankan security forces, with journalists and staff members frequently assaulted and assassinated. Uthayan offices in the North-East of the island have also come under attack and been vandalised several times.
Last year, the newspaper was awarded the Reporters Without Borders “2013 Press Freedom Prize”.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also visited the Uthayan offices in 2013, telling staff that he was “proud to meet the brave journalists risking their lives”, and that the visit “is going to make a very lasting impression.”
TNPF office surrounded by Sri Lankan military personnel
The Tamil National People’s Front’s office has been surrounded by Sri Lankan military personnel since this afternoon at 4pm local time, the party said.
The military surveillance comes on the day before the Tamil national remembrance day, Maaveerar Naal, and on the day of the birthday of the LTTE leader, V. Prabhakaran.
Intelligence officers have been stationed at the office door, the party said, adding that as a result local residents are afraid to leave their houses due to the overwhelming military presence.