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Jaffna uni students detail their defiant act of remembrance

Photographs www.pathivu.com


Following initial reports of Jaffna uni students lighting of a flare to mark Remembrance Day, further details have emerged of how they defied the Sri Lankan state's systematic clamp down.
According to the Tamil news website Pathivu, in a simple but profound act of defiance, students lit candles and oil lamps in their hostels. Others drew maps of Eelam, pictures of the heroes and paid tribute with candles. 

Sri Lankan military officers on high alert during at this time of year, became agitated on seeing the endless displays of lamps in bedrooms. Students said the officers were seen to be going from one room to the next demanding the lamps be extinguished.

Students described how after the flare was set off, military officers rushed into the university, vandalising the students' cars and bikes in rage. 

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one student said, 

"we will never forget Maaveerar Naal and no matter what obstacles come our way, we will always remember the fallen and pay due respect to them. They may have silenced the Tamil people on the military front but they can’t silence our thoughts and actions".

A Jaffna university lecturer, commented that the marking of Remembrance Day has angered the Sri Lankan government, and the government will take its revenge.

 The lecturer, pointed out that the students had remembered Eelam's heroes in a dignified manner, without any violence, and this sends a clear message to the Sri Lankan government that these students will follow in the footsteps of their heroes.

Detailing the intense level of militarisation, one student said,

"four wheelers are patrolling the area around the uni and the hostels have been rounded up.

"We fear that revenge attacks are likely to be made on the students and we want the human rights organisations and the diaspora community to be aware of this."

A local resident who lives by the university hostels stated, he had seen the army hiding in neighbouring houses and frequently roamed threateningly by the entrance of the men's hostel, armed with wooden sticks and iron rods.


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