Tamil Nadu shuts down colleges to prevent student protests

Student protest      As students protest over Sri Lankan Tamils issue gained momentum with a massive agitation involving students proposed for next week, the Indian Government has asked 438 arts and science colleges in Tamil Nadu to be closed immediately as student organisations across the state gear up to organise massive protests from Monday.

Various student groups have been holding a series of protests including hunger strike pressing for demands including an independent probe against Colombo for alleged war crimes.The students are demanding that India vote against Sri Lanka on a resolution expected to be moved at a meeting of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council in Geneva this month.

The government’s decision to close colleges is being seen as a bid to avert any law and order problems on the campuses. Dinesh, the coordinator of Federation of Students for Liberation of Tamil Eelam, said students will boycott classes that day and that they planned to rope in their counterparts from schools also.

Though students have joined in the demand, their protests, over the last one week, so far have been unorganised, with mostly law students holding hunger strikes or demonstrations. More students are expected to join in the protests from Monday.

Tthe wholesale vegetable supplier to Chennai, the Koyambedu Market, will also down shutters on March 19 in solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamils.

In the Indian Parliament, the DMK, which is a partner in the UPA government, has made appeals and threats to demand that India show its support for Tamils in Sri Lanka. It has asked the government to make its stand clear, something that it is yet to do. All political parties in Tamil Nadu have been pressuring the Indian government to vote against Lanka.

The Congress-led UPA government had voted against Sri Lanka in another resolution last year following pressure from the DMK, which had then threatened to pull out of the coalition at the Centre

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