Sri Lankan HC rejects petitions filed against police on events commemorating LTTE cadres

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Colombo, Nov 20 (PTI) A Sri Lankan high court on Friday refused to restrain police from stopping events commemorating LTTE cadres, who died during a 30-year armed campaign for a separate Tamil homeland in the north and east provinces.

The LTTE Heroes commemoration events are planned for four days, starting from November 25.

The magistrate's courts of Vavuniya and Mannar on Thursday banned the events and issued restraining orders on anyone trying to commemorate the LTTE. Some 13 people have been banned from organising the events.

According to Deputy Inspector General (DIG) and police spokesperson Ajith Rohana, the Jaffna Provincial High Court has dismissed four petitions filed against police, seeking to prevent any attempt to hold the LTTE Heroes commemoration in the northern province.

The high court refused to issue writs against the police, he said, adding that it was 'a landmark ruling'.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which led an armed rebellion for over three decades against the Sri Lankan government to set up a separate Tamil homeland, was defeated by the Lankan Army in May 2009.

Before 2009, the LTTE celebrated November 26, the birthday of the LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabakaran, as Hero's Day. The LTTE leader used to make a policy speech on their struggles on this day.

Since the end of the war, Tamil politicians organised events to light lamps.

The LTTE was fighting the government troops since the mid-1970s to set up a separate Tamil homeland in the northern and eastern regions of the island nation.

Sri Lanka's human rights record, particularly over the impunity enjoyed by law enforcement officers, has been the subject of international condemnation.

The UN Human Rights Council has called for an international probe into the alleged war crimes during the military conflict with the LTTE.

According to the government figures, around 20,000 people are missing due to various conflicts, including the war with Lankan Tamils which claimed at least 100,000 lives.

The LTTE remains a banned organisation in Sri Lanka as well as in India, the US, the UK and the European Union. PTI CORR SCY SCY