Court remands six people for attacking commemorative event for prominent LTTE activist

COLOMBO – At least six people were remanded to judicial custody by a Sri Lankan court on Monday (18) in connection with an attack by a Sinhalese group on people attending the commemorative event for a prominent Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) activist in the eastern town of Trincomalee.

Selvaraja Gajendran, a parliamentarian from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and 14 others were attacked by a gang from the majority Sinhalese in the multi-ethnic Trincomalee’s Kappalthurai area on Sunday (17).

The Tamil group said the police watched in silence as the Sinhalese group assaulted Gajendran and disrupted the vehicle float commemorating Thileepan, a prominent LTTE activist from the North.

The Court in the Eastern town of Trincomalee on Monday served remand orders on at least six people in connection with the attack.

The attackers have been remanded to judicial custody till September 21.

Thileepan was the LTTE’s political leader for Jaffna. In September 1987 he began a hunger strike seeking India’s intervention in the Sri Lankan security forces’ action in the Jaffna district in the immediate aftermath of the signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord in July 1987.

India has been pressing Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment which was brought in after the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement of 1987. The 13A provides for the devolution of power to the Tamil community.

Thileepan died from the hunger strike on September 26, 1987. The LTTE had built a monument for him in Jaffna, which was removed by the government troops after they had wrested control of the district from the LTTE.

Sinhalese, mostly Buddhist, make up nearly 75% of Sri Lanka’s 22 million population while Tamils make up 15 per cent.

The island nation has witnessed a three-decade-long brutal war with Lankan Tamils in the North and East, which claimed at least 100,000 lives.




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