Maaveerar Naal commemorations started off early in the Jaffna District as tributes were paid at the family home of the first Maaveerar Lt. Shankar.
See: Tributes paid at the home of Lt. Shankar on Maaveerar Naal
Although Sri Lankan police had obtained a court order banning Maaveerar Naal commemorations at the University of Jaffna, a small group of students lit lamps in the evening at the campus Maaveerar monument. The memorial took place despite Sri Lankan security forces shutting down the university and forcing all staff and students to vacate the campus on Friday.
In Chatty, armed and uniformed soldiers blocked Tamils from entering the remains of a destroyed LTTE cemetery, where Maaveerar Naal events were due to take place. The Chatty Thuyilum Illam falls under the Kayts Magistrate's jurisdiction, and as the court had dismissed police applications to ban Maaveerar Naal, commemorations could legally have been held at the cemetery. A source in Jaffna told the Tamil Guardian that orders were issued directly from the Jaffna Security Forces commander to prevent Tamils from entering cemeteries and holding commemorations. Kanagaratnam Sugash, a lawyer with the TNPF, was amongst those who were travelling to the cemetery.
A similar incident of harassment took place in Theeruvil, where dozens had gathered for Maaveerar Naal commemorations. Amongst them were former TNA MP E Saravanapavan, former NPC members Ananthy Sasitharan and M K Sivajilingam, and religious leader Velan Swamikal. Although the local council had granted permission for commemorations to take place at the Theeruvil public grounds, armed soldiers blocked crowds from entering.
Despite the attempted crackdown, those who were able to enter the Theeruvil grounds proceeded with the commemoration while dozens who were blocked by the military simultaneously lit their lamps just outside.
However those gathered outside were set upon by Sri Lanka intelligence officers who kicked and stamped out their lamps, causing distress to the families of fallen cadres.
TNPF MPs Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and Selvarajah Kajendran joined dozens of Tamils at a commemoration in Point Pedro.
Several private commemorations were held across the district including by Tamil politicians.
TMTK MP and former Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran
Mayor of Jaffna, V. Manivannan
A memorial was held at the residence of the family of late MP 'Maamanithar' Raviraj
The family of TNA MP Sivagnanam Shritharan commemorated at the home in Jaffna while the MP held a private vigil in Colombo.
Former TNA MP and senior ITAK politician Mavai Senathirajah
Home of Jaffna Municipal Council member V. Parthiban
Former chair of the Northern Provincial Council, C V K Sivagnanam
Chair of the Valikamam North divisional council
Private memorial held at the home of a Maaveerar's family
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.