Chennai : Students staged a protest near Saidapet court this afternoon to highlight the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils.
Members of the Students’ Union for Protection of Tamils expressed outrage against the Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah .
“The Indian government does not understandthe sentiments of eight crore Tamils. Rosaiah is a puppet of the Central government,”, said Illaiyaraja,a protester.
Hundreds of college and school students turned out to support the cause. They demanded that India boycott the CommonwealthHeads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), to be held in Colombo on November 15.
“There are only a few lakh Tamilians in Canada yet they are boycotting the CHOGM meet. There are eight crore Tamils here, yet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is taking no solid stand.”
Today’s protest turned violent after students burned posters of Manmohan Singh and foreign affairs minister Salman Khurshid. Eighteen students were later arrested.
Eight months ago, there was an outrage in Tamil Nadu after Channel 4 released the photographs of the bruised body of Balachandran Prabakaran,the 12-year-old son of Tamil Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabakaran.The photos, taken after the alleged execution,had created an outrage in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK chief, J Jayalalithaa,had labelled this killing as a war crime. Her government had also demanded that the Centre, with the help of other countries, should move the United Nations to get an economic embargo imposed on Sri Lanka.
The protests got further impetus with the recent images showing Isaipriya’s killing, again by Channel 4. These images show the Tamil Tiger news broadcaster Isaipriya in a ditch of muddy water. The Channel 4 report alleges that she was sexually assaulted and killed.
Pro-Tamil outfits and student groups have stepped up the protests in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the past one week in the run-up to the Commonwealth meeting.