Despite heavily armed brutal Special Task Force (STF) crackdown, Tamil’s Walk for Justice Began in the Eastern town of Pothuvil and end in the Northern town of Polihandi. Hundreds are joining despite road blocks, threats, harassments and intimidation.
Yesterday, in a dramatic turn of events a Catholic Bishop of Trincomalee Bishop Christian Noel Emanuel was served with stay order by the police from participating in the Walk for Justice for Tamils. Several current & former Member’s of Parliament, Tamil journalists and civil society leaders were also served with stay orders to prevent them from covering or participating in this walk.
This walk for justice was organized by North and East Civil Society Organizations to protest abuses against Tamils and to highlight Tamil’s joint appeal to UN High-Commissioner for Human Rights and to UN Human Rights Council member states. This appeal included a request to Refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide committed against the Tamil people by the Sri Lankan State.
This walk began today in Pothuvil in the Eastern province and will end in Polihandy in the Northern province.
The Walk is to highlight the following issues:
1) Continuing land grab in Tamil areas and converting Tamil’s traditional and historical places into Sinhalese areas by establishing Buddhist temples after destroying Hindu temples. As of now around 200 Hindu temples were effected.
2) Muslims who died due to COVID are cremated against the wishes of the families and against Islamic teachings.
3) Tamils in the upcountry have been urging for pay raise of 1,000 rupees, but the Government is not responding to their demands.
4) Since the war ended ten years ago, militarization of Tamil areas is continuing and Tamils historical identity is destroyed with the aim to change demography in favor of Sinhalese, using different government departments, especially archeological department. Also, Government sponsored Sinhalese settlements are continuing.
5) Tamil cattle owners are facing numerous problems, where their gracing areas are being occupied by Sinhalese and their cows killed.
6) PTA has been used to imprison Tamil youths without charge or trial for over 40 years are now being used against Muslims.
7) Tamil political prisoners have been imprisoned for years without trial. The Government have pardoned Sinhalese on a regular basis, but none of the Tamil political prisoners were pardoned.
8) Families of the enforced disappeared have been protesting to find their loved ones, but the Government refuses to give them an answer.
9) Tamils have been denied the Right to Remember their war dead, as demonstrated by denying remembrance events, destruction of cemeteries of the was dead and demolition of memorials.
10) Government is targeting Tamil journalists who cover these abuses and Tamil Civil Society activists who protest these abuses.
11) To Implement Tamil’s Joint Appeal to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and to UN Human Rights Council Member States, which includes request to Refer Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court (ICC) for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide committed against Tamil people by the Sri Lankan State.