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Mannar court imposes ban on commemorating Maaveerar Naal as Sri Lankan police push for more bans across North-East districts

The Mannar Magistrates court imposed a ban on observing Maaveerar Naal across the Mannar district.

The court passed a judgement yesterday that effectively enforces a ban on commemorational activities in Mannar from 21st to 27th November 2020, after Mannar Police filed a case requesting Maaveerar Naal remembrances to be prohibited.

Following the court order, Attorney S. Dineshan later confirmed the ban on “commemoration activities that fall under the court’s jurisdiction between November 21st to November 27” and revealed that the court imposed a specific ban and restraining order from Maaveerar Naal commemoration activities against five specific persons, including Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) MP for the Vanni district, Charles Nirmalanathan.

The order also specified that “all members of the general public are prohibited from taking part in Maaveerar Naal commemorations.”

Dineshan added that the ban has been implemented due to the current restrictions in place due to COVID-19 and that violators of the order may be arrested.

See the full Mannar court order here

Vavuniya bans

Vavuniya Magistrate Court issued orders today to ban eight persons from taking part in Maaveerar Naal commemoration activities next week. The Vavuniya Police notified that the order included multiple Tamil politicians from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), including TNPF parliamentarian and General Secretary Selvarajah Kajendran.

Earlier this week, Kajendran questioned the Sri Lankan police why they were surveilling and intimidating volunteers who were preparing Thuyilum illams ahead of Maaveerar Naal.

See the full Vavuniya court order here

Further appeals

Sri Lankan police across the Tamil homeland have appealed to local districts court in an attempt to prevent Maaveerar Naal commemorations this year.

Petitions have been filed by Sri Lankan police citing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) as the reason to prohibit the Maaveerar Naal commemorations between 25th to 27th November in Jaffna.

A petition filed to oppose requests to deny Maaveerar Naal commemorations taking place this year, has been adjourned Jaffna High Court today.

More than 20 lawyers were present at the hearing to oppose the petitions filed by the Sri Lankan police against this year’s commemoration, including Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian and lawyer, M. A. Sumanthiran. Sumanthiran added that commemoration events this year have been allowed to be done “individually” in their own homes but not in public spaces as it will compromise national security. 

Police officers from Point Pedro, Valvettithurai, Nelliady and Kankesanthurai made the requests to Point Pedro and Mallakam court in an effort to thwart remembrance events in the areas.

The petitions have been deferred to later dates following requests by lawyers present, opposing the petitions to delay the hearings until the judgment regarding the issue filed at the High Court is finalised.

The petitions called at the Point Pedro Magistrates Court was opposed by more than 6 lawyers and as a result, the case has been adjourned to Monday 23rd with defendants ordered to file a notice with the court.

The Sri Lankan police who seek a ban and submitted a petition against holding Maaveerar Naal commemorations, at the historic Maviddapuram Kandaswamy and Keerimalai Naguleswaram Temples, have been ordered by the Mallakam court that the hearing will be adjourned until later today (20th November) at 2pm.

Kankesanthurai police filed a petition at Mallakam Magistrate's Court seeking an order restraining the commemoration of Maaveerar Naal, stating it “commemorates the death of individuals that were in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a banned terrorist organisation in the country” under Section 106 of the Sri Lanka Penal Code.

The court orders come following aggressive intimidation from Sri Lankan authorities against Tamil politicians and civilians during their attempts to prepare for the remembrance day.

Preparation activities for the remembrance day and any commemoration events have been disrupted or sabotaged in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and other places by the police and the military and threats of legal and court action has been issued. Recently, Army Commander and accused war-criminal Shavendra Silva threatened Tamils who commemorate Maaveerar Naal with forced quarantine. 

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