There has been a growing international condemnation of Sri Lanka’s use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to arrest and detain Tamils. The PTA, a controversial law that has been used to suppress dissent for decades, has been increasingly used against Tamils in recent years, Tamil media report.

At least seven Tamils were arrested this week under the PTA for participating in Maaveerar Naal Tamil war hero commemorations. Maaveerar Naal is a day of remembrance for Tamil fighters who died in the war against the Sri Lankan government.

The arrests have sparked outrage among Tamils in Sri Lanka and around the world. Tamil diaspora organizations have called for the release of the detainees and the repeal of the PTA.

International human rights organizations have also condemned the arrests. Human Rights Watch said that the use of the PTA against Tamils is “a serious violation of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.”

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on Sri Lanka to immediately release the detainees and to review the PTA with a view to its repeal.

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