Sri Lanka: Students rally for Tamil hunger strikers

Father of the detained political prisoner, Rasathurai Thiruvarul, who is currently engaged in a hunger strike, also took part in the protest.

Students and staff of Jaffna University rallied on October 4 in support of three Tamil prisoners who are on hunger strike.

The prisoners are accused of having been members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which fought for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka, until defeated in May 2009. The Sri Lankan government’s victory was accompanied by a genocidal massacre of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians.

The three prisoners were due to be tried in a court in Vavuniya, a Tamil area where their case could have been heard in the Tamil language. However, the trial was shifted to Anuradhapura, a Sinhalese area where court proceedings would occur in the Sinhala language.

They began a hunger strike on September 25 demanding that their case be heard in a Tamil area.