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LTTE issues dress code for Tamils

October 18, 2005

JAFFNA, Oct 17: Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers have imposed dress restrictions for Tamil youth, sources in Jaffna said. Posters put up by the LTTE have detailed separate dress codes for females and males. The growth of beard and long hair have been forbidden for young men.

For girls, close-fitting shirts and skirts have been banned along with the wearing of trousers. Instead girls have been asked to wear the Tamil costume of Shalwar Kameez.

“This seems worse than the Taliban. But how do we protest,” a young Tamil university student wondered, lamenting that her student allowance was not sufficient to invest in a whole new wardrobe.

“Normally a directive like this would bring us out onto the roads in fiery protest. But this is Jaffna and for us it is like living in a killing field,” a woman rights activist said. The dress directive was preceded by posters asking Tamils not to interact with members of the Sri Lankan military.