Sri Lanka's security forces have set up a series of new checkpoints in Mullaitivu ahead of Maaveerar Naal, as the state ramps up it's crackdown on Tamil memorialisation of LTTE cadres.
The state's forces have beefed up their presence across Mullaitivu district, particularly in the areas surrounding Thuyilum Illams - LTTE martyr resting homes.
Roads leading to and surrounding the Mullaiyavalai Thuyilum Illam, Theraviil Thuyilum Illam, Iranaipalai Thuyilum Illam and the Mullivaiikkal memorial have all been cordoned off by the police. Locals in Mullaitivu reported that the police have been stationed near the Mullivaikkal memorial over the last two days to monitor any activities that may relate to commemorative events.
While militarisation is not new in the North-East, the deployment of Sri Lankan soldiers has intensified to intimidate and surveil Tamils who hold remembrance events for those who lost their lives in the Tamil struggle for liberation.
Over the last week, there has been a surge in Sri Lankan police and army presence and surveillance as Maaveerar Naal - or Great Heroes Day- approaches. Earlier this week, Mullaitivu Magistrate Court banned 47 activists and politicians from across Tamil parties from participating in Maaveerar Naal events, following a request from the Sri Lankan security forces.