Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Annai Poopathy remembered across the Tamil homeland

Tamils across the North-East commemorated Annai Poopathy on Friday to mark 36 years since she fasted unto death in protest of the atrocities committed by the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF). 

As a member of the Navatkerny Mother's Front, Poopathy Kanapathipillai, from Batticaloa, commenced a hunger strike on 19 March 1988 to protest the injustices and atrocities committed by the IPKF. She had called for an immediate ceasefire and peace talks between the IPKF and the Liberational Tigers of Tamil Eelam. On 19 April, after a month of abstaining from food, Annai Poopathy's fast ended with her death. Tamils across the homeland gathered en mass to remember her sacrifice. 

Nallur, Jaffna

Dozens gathered in Nallur, to pay respects to Annai Poopathy.


Tamils in Vavuniya, particularly the Tamil family members of the forcibly disappeared gathered in numbers to pay their respects and offer floral tributes to Annai Poopathy. The memorial coincided with a protest rally that the Tamil families of the disappeared were holding as they continued to call on the Sri Lankan government to hold those accountable.


In Nallur, Jaffna, Tamils similarly gathered to remember Annai Poopathy's sacrifice. They made speeches in her honour and members of the public were invited to lay floral tributes in her memory. 

University of Jaffna students, lecturers and staff also paid tribute to Annai Poopathy on campus. 


An event was held at the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) office in Kilinochchi office today. Several members of the party joined in the event, taking turns to reflect on Annai Poopathy's life and relevance of her struggle to the day to day challenges faced by Tamils in the homeland. ITAK's leader, Sivagnanam Shritharan, attended the memorial to pay his respects.



A memorial was also held in Nawaladi in Batticaloa and a procession was scheduled for the Murugan temple. It was in Batticaloa that Annai Poopathy sacrificed her life to end the attrocities committed by the IPKF against Eelam Tamils.


We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.