Sri Lanka: water cannons to disperse demonstratorsEvent
- Sri Lanka
- Initial Date
- Jan 15, 2023
- Event Description
Sri Lankan police used water cannons on Tamil protesters in Jaffna earlier today as they rallied against President Ranil Wickremesinghe's visit to the district.
The state's forces had erected barricades as the rally approached Arasady Road in Nallur to obstruct protesters from continuing their demonstration. As protesters tried to push past the barricades, water cannons were deployed in attempt to break up the rally.
Despite the excessive use of force and heavy presence of the Sri Lankan military and it's notorious Special Task Force (STF), Tamils defiantly continued to protest, calling for release of occupied Tamil lands, the fate of the forcibly disappeared and the release of Tamil political prisoners.
Protesters were seen throwing water mixed with cow dung at the security forces while others shampooed their hair with the water from the cannons in brave acts of defiance. Sri Lankan's security forces have used intimidation tactics and excessive force on Tamils in the North-East for decades in order to quash their resistance.
Earlier today, buses from Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya carrying Tamil families of the disappeared were stopped and questioned by the Sri Lankan police. They also took down the personal details of all the buses drivers and those on the bus.
Successive Sri Lankan governments have failed to address the concerns of the Tamil nation. Although Wickremesinghe has a lengthy history in Sri Lankan politics, serving as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 1993 to 1994, 2001 to 2004, 2015 to 2015, 2015 to 2018, 2018 to 2019 and 2022, demands by the Tamil community remain unaddressed.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- Violence (physical)
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom of expression
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Right to Protest
- Pro-democracy defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 15 January 2023, a number of pro-democracy defenders were met with water cannons by the police for staging a protest against the Prime Minister in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.