Dec 27, Colombo: Administrators of Jaffna University in Northern Sri Lanka are attempting to persuade the arrested students to give up their beliefs and ideals of the defeated terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
A delegation of Jaffna University administrators headed by the Dean of the Arts Faculty, Professor V. P. Sivanathan will visit the four students detained in the Welikanda army camp Thursday to convince them to give up the allegiance to the LTTE and apologize for propagating the ideology of the terrorist group.
The administrators are undertaking the mission so that the University, which had been closed since the arrest of the students on November 30, can resume its work, according to a report in Indian Express.
The Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) of police arrested the four students, Secretary of the Jaffna University Students' Union, P. Darshanth, S.Soloman, Ganeshamoorthy Sudarshan and Kanakasuntharaswamy Janaka Jeyan following a clash with the police over the issue of observing the LTTE's Heroes Day on November 27 to commemorate the dead fighters of the banned terrorist organization.
Following the arrest, with the support from some politicians the students and lecturers have boycotted classes and staged protests demanding the release of the students. A spate of clashes ensued on November 27 and 28 between the students and the police.
The students have been then transferred to the Welikanda rehabilitation camp and detained since then under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for allegedly propagating LTTE propaganda for an independent Tamil Eelam.
At a meeting called by the Security Forces Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J) Commander, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, the university officials and parents of the students have been told that the students will not be released until they denounce the subversive activities. The administrators have been asked to meet them and persuade them to give up the terrorist ideals.
"We do not know if the charges are true. However, we will appeal to them to do the needful to enable the university to start functioning. The student community has told us categorically, that it will boycott classes until the detained boys are released," Prof. Sivanathan has told Express.
The major Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance, meanwhile has commenced a hunger strike in Jaffna demanding their release.
The TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran has said that the government was falsely accusing the students to show that there is reemergence of LTTE in Jaffna to continue the military control in the town and has reportedly asked the students not to fall for the "government's trap".