An another game against Tamil people

"Is it fair for the government to intimidate the Tamils in the Western province, while inviting the people of Vanni to come to government controlled areas?"

– Virakesari Editorial

(September 22, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Police Head Quarters has issued a directive announcing that all Tamils who have come to Colombo temporarily, to register in their respective police stations in the area they live. They were also asked to come to the police station with their family members and to bring relevant documents to prove their identity between 8 am and 6 pm on Sunday 21 September.

Police HQ announced this following the views expressed by the Defence secretary that a large number of people from outside have entered Colombo without any valid reason and that this has created a security threat.

Police indicated by an announcement on 17-9-08, that all those who have come to Colombo from the north temporarily, should register . But at the press conference held on the 18-0908, it was said that all those who are living in Colombo for the last 5 years, should register.

Tamils are shocked by the announcement. Tamils are allowed to come to Colombo after strict scrutiny. They are permitted to come here only after obtaining security clearance from the relevant authorities. Furthermore, they declare their identity, the purpose of their visit and other details at Vavuniya before they proceed to Colombo.

These people, who are studying in Colombo, are already registered in respective police stations. Sufferings faced by the Tamils in the name of security are innumerous.

In this situation, registration is taking place. All administrative offices are in Colombo. International airport, foreign embassies, government departments, ministries etc are all in Colombo. Hence, it is inevitable that Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese have to come to the Capital city, Colombo. Tamil people face problems with the present registration procedures. Different police stations follow different procedures.

Therefore, Tamils request the government that it should issue directives to the relevant authorities to follow a uniform procedure and to clarify the documents required to prove the identity.

Furthermore, government’s announcement that it will not issue any document as proof of registration has caused a nerve wracking shock among the people.

According to the constitution, people have the right to go to any part of the country. In this regard, Tamils raise question as to how far it is justifiable and fair to treat only a particular community in this manner.

While ensuring the security of the country, it should not target one particular community and it should be fair and practical.

Is it fair for the government to intimidate the Tamils living in the Western province, while inviting the people of Vanni to come to government controlled areas?

(An English translation of the Editorial in Virakesari, a Tamil daily, based in Colombo.)
- Sri Lanka Guardian