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IT professionals and students take out a rally for Sri Lankan Tamils

Staff Reporter

They call for proper rehabilitation of the displaced and medical aid urgently

CHENNAI: Demanding that the world community and the United Nations intervene to on behalf of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, IT professionals and students from medical and engineering colleges took out a procession here on Sunday.

More than a hundred people participated in the ‘Rally for Justice’ holding placards condemning the Sri Lankan government and criticising the Indian Government’s inaction.

Around 20 people initiated the IT professionals’ collective for the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils, said Saravana Kumar, one of the organisers of the rally. The collective had participants from all major IT firms, he said. The group held a human chain protest in front of Tidel Park and in December 2008, it held a hunger strike, he said. “As all political parties have dropped this issue, we need to raise it again,” he said.

Latha Rajan of Ma Foi, a HR consulting firm, said this procession would help focus attention on the humanitarian aspect of what was happening in Sri Lanka. “As youth and professionals, we have a responsibility in creating awareness,” she said, adding that proper rehabilitation of displaced people and medical aid had to be provided urgently.The group also demanded that the war crimes and UN rights violations of the Sri Lankan Government be investigated based on international laws.

The release of Shanmugarajah, Varatharajah, and Sathiyamoorthy, three doctors who served civilians in the war, was also a demand raised by the group. “They served till the last day of the war and survived,” said Prabhakar, a participant in the rally. “They know about what the casualties were and how many people died,” he said, explaining why the group wanted to secure their immediate release. A section in the group shouted slogans against The Hindu.

Fr. Jegath Gasper from Tamil Maiyam said that such rallies demonstrated that the issue was moving away from political parties to civil society organisations. Political parties acted to suit their own needs and agendas, he said, adding that such civil society interventions would lead to “more mature, friendly and consistent efforts.”

Some participants held placards and posters of LTTE supremo Prabakaran.

The organisers said that they did not support any group and had dissuaded people from displaying such photographs.

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