Eleven pro-Eelam students were taken into custody by the police on Wednesday, as they barged into the Mihin Lanka airline’s corporate office at Trichy. They charged that the Sri Lankan airline was owned by the brother of Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa who is charged with war crimes by the Tamil organisations, the Times of India reported today.
The protesters, who had a sit-in at the Mihin Lanka office, said they wanted to draw the attention of the Central government to the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Earlier in the day, they burnt the effigy of Union external affairs minister Salman Khurshid who had aired the Union government’s view that accepting the Tamil Nadu assembly resolution calling for a referendum for a separate Tamil state in the island country cannot be accepted. Khurshid had also opined that several Indian states did not share Tamil Nadu government’s stand vis-a-vis Sri Lanka.
The students raised slogans that Khurshid should be summarily sacked from the Union ministry, and the Congress activists who allegedly attacked the students in Trichy during the recent visit of TNCC president Gnanadesikan should be arrested.
“We are not operated or instigated by any political party. What operates us is our own conscience,” a student leader said. The Union government must respect the sentiments of eight crore people that is now being channeled through our State-wide agitation, he added.
Colleges had re-opened on Wednesday after being shut down during the recent anti-Sri Lanka protests in Tamil Nadu.