Jaffna University’s student union are serving Mullivaikkal kanji in Jaffna today as the Tamil nation remembers the massacres committed by the Sri Lankan state 14 years ago.
Kanji - a porridge of rice and water - was the only food available to Tamils trapped in the Sri Lankan government declared 'No Fire Zones' as food, medicines and other necessities were heavily restricted from entering the Vanni during the final phase of the armed conflict.
The spokesperson for JUSU said during a press conference that the kanji distribution program is an act of solidarity with the civilians caught in the crosshairs of the battlefield during the last few days of the war.
“The Tamil genocide, which reached its heights in 2009, was witnessed by the whole world while thousands of Tamil people were killed,” the spokesperson pointed out that “while the genocide was taking place, the world was in solidarity with Sinhala supremacy.” However, a few civil society organisations and civilians, who were caught in the crosshairs of the battlefield during the last days of the war, cooked the rice that they had into kanji and distributed it among the civilians in order to avoid starvation. “Even though airstrikes and explosions killed our loved ones, they did not die of starvation,” the spokesperson said.
The kanji distribution program will begin on May 9th with the distribution of kanji at Valvettithurai, at the Maruthanarmadam junction, Karainagar Hindu College, central bus stand in Jaffna, and Chavakachcheri. On May 10th, the kanji will be distributed near the Kandasamy Kovil in Kilinochchi and in Puthukkudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu, and Mankulam. On May 11th, it will be distributed in Mannar and Vavuniya. On May 12th, it will be distributed in the Eastern districts of Trincomalee and Muttur. On May 13th, it will be distributed at the Eastern University, in front of the Vantharumoolai. On May 14th, it will be distributed in Amparai and Pottuvil. From May 15th onwards, the kanji distribution targeted schools in the Jaffna district.
The Sri Lankan government denied the delivery of food into the conflict zones, to use starvation as a weapon of war. Even as Tamils stood in long queues to get a bowl of kanji, the Sri Lankan military continued their daily bombardment, slaughtering many.
The student union were serving kanji this morning near Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s residence in Valvettithurai and continue serving kanji across the North-East until May 15th.