Tamils in the North-East should be allowed to remember their war dead, including militants and civilians killed in the armed conflict, said the vicar general of Jaffna Diocese in a submission to the Sri Lankan government’s Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms.
In a statement delivered to the committee as it met in Jaffna this week, Father Pathinathan Josephdas Jebaratnam said:
"Just as the families of the Sri Lankan soldiers remember their loved ones who died in the war, the people in the North and East should be allowed to remember their dead in an appropriate, decent, free and dignified manner."
"These militants who died in the war and a big number of civilians especially those who died in the final stages of the war in 2009, were in some way related or connected to the people in the North and East," he added.
Father Jebaratnam’s call echoed that of an earlier submission, that called for the commemoration of Maaveerar Naal - a day of remembrance that has been observed in secret in the North-East since the end of the armed conflict, due to military threats and government warnings that those remembering LTTE cadres will be arrested.
He went on to state that a federal solution for the island is needed "so the Tamils will feel they have equal rights that they were denied in the past" and to ensure that another cycle of violence does not ensue.
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Also see here for full coverage of proposals submitted to the committee.