Home Urgent alerts Urgent Alert: Acclaimed Tamil writer arrested and detained by Police

Update - 26.11.2013 : Released and deported on Tuesday, 26th November

A well known Tamil writer V.I.S.Jayapalan has been arrested today (22) by police while he was visiting his ancestral home in North, Sri Lanka.

BACKGROUND:

Shanmugampillai Jayapalan, famously known as VIS Jayapalan in the Tamil literary world, was born in Uduvil, Jaffna in north of Sri Lanka. He began his writing in the 70s while studying at the University of Jaffna and published his first anthology in 1986. Since then he has published at least 12 anthologies of poetry and short novels. As the war escalated, he fled Sri Lanka to Norway in 1988. Since then he has been living in Norway as a Norwegian citizen.

His poetry and short novels are among the prescribed text books in many universities and colleges in Tamil Nadu. In 1995, he was awarded as the best immigrant writer by the Norwegian Writers Association. His poetry has been translated into English, Norwegian as well as to Sinhala. In 2009, some of his poems were translated into English and published as a book in Canada - named 'Wilting Laughter’ - along with selected poems of two other prominent Tamil poets.

In 2011, Jayapalan received a Special Jury Award for his role in the South Indian Tamil movie ‘Aaduka’lam’ at the 58th National Film Awards of India.

INCIDENT:

On the 9th of November, 2013 Jayapalan visited Sri Lanka after 7 long years. As a Tamil literary stalwart, he was interviewed by Tamil newspapers in Jaffna and warmly welcomed by his community.

On the 22nd of November, he went to visit his ancestral home in Vattakkadu, close to Mankulam. He was hoping to pay tribute at his mother’s gravesite since he wasn't able to attend her funeral in November 2006. While on his way he was arrested by Sri Lanka police near Vannivilankulam and was brought to Vavunia. Currently he is been held at the  Vavuniya Police Station. His family has not been able to communicate with him and nothing much is known about his current status.

Following his arrest, the Sri Lanka Police Spokesman has told the BBC Tamil Service, that he was arrested as he was ‘disrupting the ethnic harmony in the country.’ They have accused him for 'violating the visa regulations', though the allegations have not been substantiated.

ACTION:

Mark your protest. Please send your emails/faxes to:

1. H.E.President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Presidential Secretariat
Colombo 1, Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 11 244 6657
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Secretary - Ministry of Defence and urban development
Tele : +94 11 243 5879
Fax : +94 11 254 1529
E-mail : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3. Mr. N K Illangakoon
Inspector General of Police
New Secretariat
Colombo 1
SRI LANKA
Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(please send copies of your emails to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Executive Committee
Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

22.11.2013

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Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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