Tamils protest for a separate state for Sri Lankan Tamils

November 28th, 2009 - 12:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Nov 28 (ANI): The Police here on Friday arrested more than 20 Tamil activists, who were protesting for a separate state for the Tamilians displaced by the war in Sri Lanka.

Holding photographs and banners of slain LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran, scores of protestors from various Tamil organizations gathered in Coimbatore city and staged a protest against the Sri Lankan government.

The protestors also tried to commemorate November 27 as the first ‘Heroes Day’ following the death of Prabhakaran, before the police personnel prevented them.

Prabhakaran was killed while fighting Sri Lankan forces in May this year.

Protestors accused the Sri Lankan government of serious human rights violations and demanded a separate state for displaced Tamilians in Sri Lanka.

“We are addressing all Tamilians that there will be a crusade for the setting up of a separate Tamil Eelam (nation) for the displaced Tamils of Lanka. The heroic fight launched by slain LTTE chief Prabhakaran for the Tamils will always be our inspiration to achieve our goal. The entire world ought to know this and acknowledge it,” said Susi Kalayarasan, a protestor.

Earlier last month, India had offered Sri Lanka $100 million to help war refugees return home and rebuild the country’s ravaged north.

The government gave a similar aid package to its southern neighbour in July after the Sri Lankan government announced victory in a 25-year war against Tamil Tiger separatists.

The Indian government faces pressure to protect Sri Lankan Tamils, closely linked to about 60 million Tamils in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Some 260,000 Tamil refugees who fled fighting in the waning months of the war are now being held in military-run camps.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said 70-80 percent of the refugees would be resettled by January.

India, which once wielded undisputed leverage over the Sri Lankan conflict, maintained a largely hands-off approach over the last two years because of the concerns of Tamils at home.

New Delhi is now keen to ensure that it retains influence in the island and keeps rivals China and Pakistan at arm’s length. (ANI)

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