In the days leading up to remembrance protests of the Mullivaikkal massacre, the Sri Lankan army held a workshop to train 50 Tamil students on the development of “personality and leadership,” “mess etiquettes,” “decision-making,” etc. in the military-run Thalsevana holiday resort on Thursday (28).
The workshop was a part of a broader project initiated by Major General Chandana Wickramasinghe, an accused war criminal. Based on a dossier released by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), during the height of the Mullivaikkal massacre, he commanded the Gajaba Regiment which was involved in attacks in Vishwamadu, Puthukkudiyiruppu and Puttumattalan. Such locations are referenced in detail as places where alleged war crimes and grave human rights violations occurred based on the United Nations Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL).
The workshop took place in the military-run Thalsevana holiday resort, located inside an intensely militarized High-Security Zone. This block of land that was appropriated by the Sri Lankan government continues to operate despite protests from expelled Tamil inhabitants demanding the return of their land back. The resort is one of many businesses run by the military on occupied Tamil land.
Despite calls from activists for demilitarisation of the Tamil homeland, the military continues to maintain its heavy occupation, 13 years after the end of the armed conflict. In particular, Tamil schoolchildren are repeatedly exposed to Sri Lanka's militarisation in several aspects of their life, including education.