‘A child weeps, as family members call for Tamil political prisoners to be freed’ photo by Dinidu de Alwis
My friend Dinidu has been following a protest in front of Colombo Fort. I called and he said there were about 150 people protesting for A) release of Tamil political prisoners B) right to Tamil language legal proceedings. One case they were mentioning was that of someone arrested for having batteries (like torch batteries, long been dodgy) and who signed a confession in Sinhala. He said the JVP’s Udul Premaratne was organizing but that there wasn’t an overt political presence.
I think both of these points are valid. The war has been over for like two years now and we’re still under Emergency law. It’s really not necessary no more.
Second, I don’t speak Sinhala and I’ve had to sign stuff I didn’t understand. That’s just normal procedure at a cop shed. Ignoring the kalu suddhas like myself, I think you should definitely have the write to give and sign a statement in Tamil.
If the JVP is just an acronym for you, note that this was the party which started a bloody communist rebellion in the south which killed about as many people as the one in the north. They were nationalist as in racist but now it seems that they are less so, or at least more strategic. Also note that the UNP and Tamil parties were nowhere near, effectively being counterweights to the government as much as an opposition (the UNP more than the TNA).
I should also note that the above’s involvement shows that these aren’t particularly ‘Tamil’ issues. Everybody gets hassled or screwed by the cops and there are countless people tied up in the justice system in numerous unjust ways.