Despite restrictions imposed by authorities to pressure the Rajini Thiranagama Commemoration Committee into cancelling the program they had planned, to commemorate her 25th death anniversary, the Committee proceeded with the program successfully today.
The Commemoration Committee had planned a series of events to be held in Jaffna this weekend, concurrent to the 25th death anniversary of Dr. Thiranagama which falls today (21). However, the Committee circulated an email two days ago ( 18), informing of several changes in the initially planned program and venues of the events, explaining that the changes were due to ‘circumstances beyond the control of the commemoration committee’.
However, speaking to the media today a member of the Rajini Thiranagama Commemoration Committee Ahilan Kadirgamar has come out with the real reason behind the changes to the program and the venues of the events.
He said that two of the events in the program were scheduled to be held at the Jaffna University – a lecture in the Medical Faculty of the University of Jaffna and a conference at the Kailasapathy Memorial Hall at the University of Jaffna. However, he told the media that the venue had to be changed as the university administration had informed them during the last minute that the university cannot be allow them to hold these events within the university premises.
Meanwhile, the Police had declined to give permission to hold a peaceful walk that had also been planned as part of Dr. Thiranagama’s memorial program to be held during this weekend.
Dayapala Thiranaga who is visiting Jaffna to participate in the program has expressed his regret over these developments, while stating that it is a reflection of the state of democracy in Jaffna.
Despite the restrictions, the Committee took measures to hold the events in alternative locations and a large crowd had attended the events.
“People of Jaffna were very keen on proceeding with the program despite the challenges we faced due to difficulties in finding locations. They wished to commemorate Rajini who was a tireless crusader for democracy, human rights and women’s rights. So we decided to proceed with the program in a way that would not violate any laws,” Kadirgamar said.
Accordingly, this morning a commemoration meeting was held at the Jaffna Trimmer Church hall and in the evening a cultural show was held at the Veerasingham Hall in Jaffna.
Only the peaceful march has been cancelled. It is also learnt that the seminar, to be held at the Kailasapathy Memorial Hall according to the initial program and moved later to the Jaffna Public Library Auditorium has now been shifted to Trimmer Hall, No.9 Vembady Road, Jaffna, as the Commissioner of the Jaffna Municipal Council declined to give permission to hold the event at the Jaffna Public Library Auditorium. The seminar, ‘A More Just and Democratic Society’ will be held tomorrow, 21 September 2014 from 9 am to 1.30 pm at Trimmer Hall.