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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2584

Mass protests in Colombo over forceful Tamil evictions, rally winds up soon as fears of arrests spread

Colombo, 08 June, (Asiantribune..Com): Braving a scorching sun, more than 300 people took part in a mass picket at the Lipton Circus, Colombo today against the forceful Tamil evictions of June 7.

The noon rally consisted mostly of political and civil society activists and the general public appeared to stay away out of fear.

The rally saw Lankan politicians such as Wickremebahu Karunarathne, Mano Ganeshan MP and Mavai Senadhiraja MP and activists such as Kumar Rupesinghe, Sunanda Deshapriya, Sunila Abeysekera and Ms. Nimalka Fernando engaging in protest.

Despite their strong stance against the Tamil evictions, the JVP was absent at the rally.

Some participants, "Asian Tribune" came across, expressed fear of being surreptitiously 'videoed and photographed' as concerns to this effect began voiced among the protesters at the venue.

"Asian Tribune" also witnessed a strong police presence --with several detainee transport buses and the solitary Police riot control unit -- that injected fear among protesters.

As a result, the rally ended before members of the general public could join it.

The Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD), Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Free Media Movement (FMM), INFORM Human Rights Documentation Center, Institute of Human Rights (IHR), International Movement against All forms of Racial Discrimination (IMADR), Law & Society Trust (LST) and Rights Now (RN) have collectively called for protests against the June 7 evictions.

More than 500 minority Tamils from the North and East residing at lodges and rests houses in Colombo were evicted and deported in 50 buses back to their native places in N&E June 7.

The Tamils were rounded up at Wellawatte (Colombo 6), Slave Island and even in Fort areas. The roundups came amidst a visit by Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi to Sri Lanka to revive the peace process.

- Asian Tribune -

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