Concluding a three-day fasting campaign and a four-day walk of Tamil youth activists from Mu’l’livaaykkaal in Vanni to Nalloor, where the fasting campaign by the women activists of the missing persons relatives led by NPC Councillor Ananthy Sasitharan, the women activists on International Women Day said they were preparing for the next step in intensifying their protest demanding international investigations without internal manipulations by Colombo if the new regime in Colombo failed to issue the details on the whereabouts of their kith and kin subjected to enforced disappearance by the occupying Sri Lankan military. The SL military has been harassing the activists who were walking from Mu’l’livaaykkaal to Nalloor at various places in Vanni.
A new organisation, named Chilampu (symbolising the epic anklet of the legendary Tamil woman Kannagi’s struggle for justice) has been formed by Ms Ananthy Sasitharan On the International Women’s Day.
“We seek global support for the demands of International Investigations on Tamil Genocide and complete de-militarisation of North-East. We also call upon the global community to demand the Sri Lankan State to release all Tamil political prisoners and to clarify the status of the missing persons without further delay,” a statement issued at Nalloor on Sunday by the Chilampu organisation said.
NPC Chief Minister Mr C.V. Wigneswaran, in a letter addressed to NPC Councillor Ms Ananthy Sasitharan on 05 March 2015 stated that unless there is an attitudinal change on the part of the Sri Lankan government, it would be very difficult to solve the issue. The CM in his letter said he has been continuously conveying the demands of the protesting families of the missing persons to the Sri Lankan government.
Protests were organised in Ki’linochchi by the families of the victims of enforced disappearances in support of the fasting campaign by mothers at Naloor and the walk by Tamil activists.
Veteran ITAK activist Professor S.K. Sitrampalam, TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran, Catholic and Saiva priests, councillors and civic members expressed their support to the fasting campaign.
Suresh Premachandran, while addressing the protesters on Sunday, said there were at least 20,000 cases of enforced disappearances in the Tamil homeland. The last government in power was not elected by Tamils. But, this government came to power with the support of Tamils. If this government also behaves like the previous government, Tamils will distance from it, Mr Premachandran warned.
Sri Lankan police in Jaffna had refused to provide security to NPC councillor Ananthy Sasitharan who had sought police protection. As the SL military intelligence operatives were present at the site of the fasting campaign, the protesters had to only stage the fasting campaign on day time. However, forty to fifty Tamil women sat on rotation and continued to the fast for 3 days at Nalloor during the day time.
The occupying military was also harassing the Tamil youth activists who commenced their walk from Mu’l’livaaykkaal to Nalloor expressing solidarity with the women activists.
The SL military was questioning the activists at several places and refused to allow them to walk during the nights. Patrolling troops were threatening them of arrest. The SL military was attempting to prohibit the activists from using their handheld loudspeaker. Hundreds of Tamil villagers took to the street at Paranthan when the SL military was harassing them from proceeding further. The people warned the SL military that they would also join the protest if the youth were not allowed to proceed.
The fasting women activists at Nalloor gave an emotional welcome to the youth activists, who reached Nalloor, on 08 March.
Sinhala journalists were also present from South witnessing the protest of the Tamil women in Jaffna.