The Students Struggle Committee for Tamil Eelam has announced that it would organise demonstrations and public meetings across the State from April 15 to May 19, to mark the fourth anniversary of the Mullivaikkal massacre and the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. The month-long plan entails four weeks of escalating activity on the issue.
In the first week, the demonstrating students would focus on boycotting Sri Lanka. This would involve demands to shut down the Deputy High Commission in Chennai and imposition of economic sanctions, among other.
The second week would see demonstrations demanding that special refugee camps run by the Tamil Nadu government in Chengalpattu and Poonamallee be shut down. Students claim these camps have become special torture camps. The third week would see students taking out protests and demonstrations in partnership with the fishing community, against repeated attacks on Tamil Nadu’s fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. This phase would see the see students put forth the creation of a Tamil Eelam as the only solution to the attacks on the fishermen.
The fourth week would see public meetings and demonstrations against the “Centre’s anti-Tamil activities”. Addressing reporters on Friday, representatives of the committee stressed on the non-political nature of their collective, but conceded to the fact that individuals may have political affiliations. They also rubbished suggestions that the student protests were losing steam, saying the lower turnout in recent weeks was due to examinations.
The students of the committee, which has so far lacked a leadership or a chain of command, said they are working on a district-level organisation structure. They also fended off repeated questions on their activities resembling those of political parties, even as a student declared, “There is a need for the students’ struggle to become a people’s movement.”
They also said they had the support of students from Jaffna University. The students said they had conversations with Lankan Tamils living in Vanni, and claimed they had been told that torture by armed forces was on the decline.