//Be humane to refugees from Sri Lanka: PUCL

Be humane to refugees from Sri Lanka: PUCL

Ongoing war a human rights violation: K.G. Kannabiran

Coimbatore: The Tamil Nadu Government should deal with the refugees from Sri Lanka who are fleeing the war there with humaneness, K.G. Kannabiran, national president of the People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), told presspersons here on Wednesday.

Besides providing security, it was for the State Government to provide security and resources to refugees. Irrespective of whether it was the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or the Sri Lankan Army that was on the offensive, the ongoing war was a human rights violation. This affected India, especially Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Kannabiran called for a permanent ceasefire in the island nation for the next five years. The peace process could be taken up during this period, he suggested. Recalling the campaign carried out by the PUCL under the leadership of retired Supreme Court Judge V.R. Krishna Iyer in 1977, Mr. Kannabiran exhorted senior citizens, writers and social activists to start a campaign to draw the attention of the international community to the rights violations in the name of war.

Mr. Kannabiran and the secretary of the State unit of the PUCL, S. Balamurugan, urged the Government to re-introduce the two per cent reservation in professional colleges for the children of refugees. According to them, reservation had been denied in the last three years.

The Tamil Nadu Government should withdraw all cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (including the case against 26 people arrested in Dharmapuri on charges of naxalism), Mr. Kannabiran said.

He urged the Government to reintroduce remission for those who had completed more than 10 years of imprisonment.

He demanded compensation to over 190 petitioners who sought relief from the Justice Sadasivam Commission of Inquiry. It was formed to probe charges of excesses by the STF to set up to nab the forest brigand Veerappan. The Commission had now awarded compensation to 98 people.