UNIVERSITY OF JAFFNA APPEAL TO UNITED NATIONS

Place: Jaffna | Courtesy: Jaffna University
| Date: 19951109

 

                                                University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka


To: Dr Boutros Boutros - Ghali                              Temporary Address:
Secretary General UNO                                         Hindu College
C/O The High Commissioner                                  Chavakachcheri
UNHCR                                                                 Sri Lanka.
47, Horton Place
Colombo 7                                                                           09 November 1995.

Dear Sir,

The Tamils of Sri Lanka, specially those living in the North-East region of the country, are historically accepted to be a people with unique cultural and educational identity. The very values cherished by these people have been destroyed on and often by the oppressive and military actions of the Sri Lankan government especially during the last four decades under the guise of democracy. At every stage, the Tamils have resorted to parliamentary and democratic means to oppose them. But the Sinhala majority government has used military means to suppress such oppositions including non-violent Satyagraha. The persistent military response of the government to the just demands of the Tamils finally led the Tamils to resort to an armed struggle to safeguard themselves and their land from the occupied armed forces of the government. Although the LTTE has emerged to a De facto leadership of the Tamils in this struggle, the government continues for its own sinister motives to take a false and unrealistic attitude of considering the LTTE as a separate entity from the Tamils. This has led the Tamils of the North and East to untold human misery. The recent military operations in the North code named leap forward, shake hands, lightening thunder and sunshine were all launched by the government under the pretext of liberating the Tamils from the 'clutches of the LTTE'. These operations have caused mass displacements from various parts of the peninsula and the final one sunshine has culminated with unprecedented and inhuman exodus of nearly 500,000 Tamils fleeing to Thenmaradchchi and Vanni. Indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment by the government military forces became so destructive and fatal that the fear and panic stricken Tamils fled Jaffna on foot leaving behind their treasured belongings (with only limited quantity of kerosene as fuel, transport services have been denied to the North for more than five years). These people made refugees by the military operations of the government have sought refuge in Thenmaradchchi, Vadamaradchchi and Vanni. They are without proper shelter, food, clothing and basic health and sanitary facilities. They had to suffer further due to the heavy monsoonal rains. In short, the Tamils, after being killed in their thousands for demanding their basic human rights are now being broken down physically, mentally, socially and spiritually by this last operation.

We, the university community, have persevered in our educational activities in spite of loosing some of our own colleagues due to military operations and also burdened by a long and inhuman economic blockade. We bore the brunt of the military operations and suffered all forms of discomfortjust to keep the university open and active even in the worst of conditions. Today we have left everything and sought refuge outside Jaffna along with our people on foot, because we cannot go on.

We, the university community with one voice and on behalf of the Tamils appeal to the international community through your esteemed office:-

1) We left our homes in such a hurry only with the intention of moving away from the government military forces. Therefore we seek the help of the international community to bring pressure on the Sri Lankan government from our areas enabling us to return to homes and continue to live with human dignity, self respect and freedom.

2) We earnestly request the international community to bring pressure on the Sri Lankan government so as to enable foreign delegates and journalists to visit the affected areas and reveal the ground situation to the world. (The government to cover up its unjust military operations has imposed a strict press censorship and banned all journalists from visiting the North).

3) We kindly request the international community to provide relief assistance to the people who are undergoing untold suffering.

Thanking you sir, Yours sincerely,

On behalf of the University Community,


Name                                               Office                                                     Signature.
------                                                ------                                                    ----------
1. Dr C S Nachinarkinian               Head / Community Medicine
2. Dr K Sivapalan                          Head / Physiology
3. Mr R Nandakumaran                 Senior Lecturer / Economics
4. Mr K Sithamparanathan             Lecturer / Fine Arts
5. Prof. A Sanmugathas                 Head / Tamil and music
6. Mr R Jegatheesan                      Senior Asst. Internal Auditor
7. Mr R Rajeswaran                      Asst. Registrar / Library Service
8. Mr K Ratnasabapathy.              Senior Tel. operator