US Groups Endorse Tamil Civil Society’s condemnation of Attacks on Protesters During Presidents Visit to Jaffna


Condemns arbitrary arrest of Thavathiru Velan Swamigal a Hindu religious leader

WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES, January 22, 2023 / —

Several US based Tamil diaspora groups have wholeheartedly endorsed a joint statement by Sri Lanka based Tamil Civil Society groups condemning attacks by the military on protesters during Sri Lankan President’s visit to Janna.

Below. please find the Joint Statement by the Sri Lankan Tamil Civil Society:

“We strongly condemn the violent attacks by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces on women, children, religious leaders and students.

We strongly condemn the use of violence and water cannons by the Special Task Force (STF), the Army, and the Sri Lankan police on the elderly, children, women, religious leaders and students who participated in a peaceful rally organized by Jaffna University students to expose the drama staged by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremasinghe in the name of National Pongal for the consumption of the international and Sinhalese people. The attack happened on Thai Pongal Day (15.01.2023) in Jaffna, which is part of the Tamil homeland” said the joint statement by Tamil Civil Society.

“We, the Tamil people, have been living under continuous oppression in the Tamil homeland for the last thirteen years, unable to move freely and express our political position freely. Sri Lanka’s armed forces and Army Intelligence who have killed, disappeared and occupied our lands are continuously threatening our people and denying their democratic rights. But on Thai Pongal day they have directly attacked the public.” continued the statement.

This attack has reinforced our following long-standing demands said the statement.

1. The armed forces of Sri Lanka should be withdrawn from the Tamil homeland.

2. Any permanent political solution to the Tamil National question requires the consent of the Tamil people through an internationally monitored referendum. The referendum should include internationally recognized solutions to the ethnic problem as options.

“The international community should understand the true face of Sinhalese chauvinism, especially the true face of Sinhalese chauvinist Ranil Wickremesinghe, and strongly condemn this oppression and ensure that it does not happen again, continued the statement.

“We request all those who stand for the Tamil cause to rally together to protect our homeland and defeat the maneuvers of Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is busy in fragmenting our traditional homeland in the North-East and destroying the Tamil nation” concludes the statement.

Thank you.

1) Srilasree Somasundara Desika Gnanasampanda Paramacharya Swami Nallai Atheenam – Jaffna

2) Hon. Noel Emmanuel, Bishop – Diocese of Trincomalee

3) Thavathiru Agathiyar Adikalar, Tenkailai Atheenam (Hindu Religious Chief) – Trincomalee

4) Ven. father Pathinathan Jeparatnam, Priest – Jaffa Diocese

5) Thavathiru Velan Swamy, Sivaguru Atheenam (Hindu Religious Chief)– Jaffna

6) Ven. father Joseph Mary (S J) – Batticaloa

7) Ven. father Kandiah Jagadas – Batticaloa

8) Ven. father Robert Sasikaran – Jaffna

9) Ven. father Sepamalai Brinson – – Batticaloa

10) Mrs. Yo. Kanakaranjini, President – Association of Relatives of Missing Persons – Northern & Eastern Provinces

11) Mr. M. Komagan, Organizer – Voice of the Voiceless

12) Mr. A. Vijayakumar, President – Jaffna University Students’ Union

13) Mr. N. Darsan, President – Eastern University Students’ Union – Faculty of Arts and Culture

The Following US based groups endorsed the about statement and stated the following:

“We the undersigned organizations representing Tamil Diaspora in USA, are in complete agreement with this appeal endorsed by civil society in the homeland. We vehemently condemn the arbitrary arrest of Thavathiru Velan Swamigal a Hindu religious leader, three days after this protest. This is blatant attempt to still the voices of civil society by intimidation and push Sri Lanka further down the path of authoritarianism,” said the statement.

Here is the list of US Tamil Diaspora Organizations who endorsed the above call:

1. Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA);

2. Ilankai Tamil Sangam;

3. Tamil Americans United PAC;

4. United States Tamil Action Group (USTAG);

5. World Thamil Organization;

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