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May 2009 killings remembered in Mannar amid Sri Lankan court order banning planned event

Photographs Tamil Guardian

The mass killing of tens of thousands of Tamils during the final stages of Sri Lanka's armed conflict was remembered today in Mannar, despite a district court order preventing the event from taking place at the town hall as was previously arranged. 

Issuing a written notice a day before the planned event, Mannar district judge and magistrate, A G Alexrajah, said "even though the event does not affect the public property or people, as it is high likely that riots and problems may occur" and ordered the event not to be held at the town hall, warning the organisers that legal action would be taken if they refused to obey.

A copy of this court order, signed by Justice Alexrajah, was stuck on the door of the town hall.

Undeterred by this eleventh hour action to prevent the memorial, the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) youth wing, which organised the event, moved it to the nearby Uppukkulam Siththivinayagar temple.

Families of those who were killed, and locals of all religions participated in the memorial event, lighting candles of remembrance and taking part in special prayers.

Security in Mannar town was stepped up, with a heavy police presence, said locals.

 See full coverage of May 2009 remembrance events worldwide here.