Condemnation of the Police and Special Task Force Raid on All People's Union Leader's House
We, People’s Alliance for Right Land [PARL], strongly condemn the recent raid conducted by the police and the Special Task Forces on the residence of All People's Collective’s [Annaiththu Makkal Ondriyam] President, Vallipuram Baskaran, on Tuesday . This reprehensible act not only violates the principles of justice and democratic values but also raises serious concerns about the state's use of power to suppress the voices of the oppressed.
The timing and nature of the raid, which coincided with the ongoing protests against the Ponnaveli Limestone mining project in Poonagari of Kilinochchi District, are deeply suspicious. The use of sniffer dogs in this investigation further adds to the distressing atmosphere surrounding the incident. The lack of transparency regarding the reasons for the raid only fuels speculation and erodes public trust in the authorities.
It is particularly alarming that such actions are taken against a leader associated with a movement that seeks to protect the rights and interests of the people. Vallipuram Baskaran's assertion that this raid may be an attempt to intimidate and silence protestors against the limestone quarrying outside Ponnaveli is a serious indictment of the authorities' motives.
People’s Alliance for Right to Land [PARL] stands in solidarity with the All People's Collective and condemns any attempt to stifle the legitimate voices of those advocating for their rights. The right to peaceful protest, and freedom of expression, are fundamental traits of a democratic society, and any action that undermines these principles is a direct affront to the democratic fabric of our nation.
Furthermore, PARL expresses its deep concern about the Ponnaveli Limestone mining project, a proposed venture by the Tokyo Cement Company. The project's potential adverse impacts on the environment, agriculture, fishing, and the overall wellbeing of the people in the surrounding villages must be thoroughly examined.
The Ponnaveli village, scarred by the ravages of the civil war, holds a significant place in the cultural and historical heritage of the Tamil people. The proposed massive cement factory, spanning over 3000 acres and encroaching upon vital paddy fields, pasture lands, and housing areas, directly threatens the livelihoods of the villagers who have already endured immense hardships.
It is deeply distressing to learn that private companies have, allegedly, conducted research without consulting the affected communities, leading to the arrest of protesters during the early stages of opposition. The resilient people of Ponnaveli have been engaged in a peaceful protest for over 150 days, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to safeguarding their land and rights.
PARL calls for an immediate and impartial investigation into the raid on Vallipuram Baskaran's house and urges the authorities to respect the democratic values that our nation upholds. Additionally, we demand a thorough reevaluation of the Ponnaveli Limestone mining project, ensuring the meaningful participation of the affected communities in decision-making processes that impact their lives.