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50th anniversary of Sivakumaran's sacrifice marked at Jaffna University

Students, staff and lecturers from the Jaffna University faculty paid their respects to Pon. Sivakumaran, the first Tamil to die in the liberation struggle 50 years ago. 

The students gathered to listen to the lecturers talk about Pon. Sivakumaran’s sacrifice. They also laid flowers and lit candles at a memorial obelisk at the Jaffna University premises.

Sivakumaran was a member of the Tamil Manavar Peravai (or Tamil Student Federation, TSF) and a leading militant in the early armed Tamil struggle.

On 5th June 1974, Sivakumaran was surrounded by Sri Lankan security forces. He had previously been tortured during an earlier detention in police custody for damaging property of those responsible for the conference killings. Evading torture, Sivakumaran committed suicide using a capsule of cyanide, in order to negate the risk of revealing information that jeopardised the growing Tamil armed resistance movement.

He became the first Tamil militant to die in the armed struggle, and his death sparked widespread grief across the North-East.

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