The 217th victory day of Pandara Vanniyan, the last sovereign of the Vanni chieftaincy was commemorated last month with fanfare across the Tamil homeland in the North-East.
Proceedings began early morning in Vavuniya in the presence of Urban Council Chairman E. Gowthaman who also organised the event last month.
People gathered to pay respects to the statue of the chieftain who ruled the Vanni region in the 18th century. Known as the 'Last King of Vanni', he died fighting colonial rule by the Dutch and British.
They decorated Pandara Vanniyan’s statue with garlands and ceremonially showered flower petals. This was followed by a historical lecture on Vanniyan delivered by Tamilaruvi Sivakumaran. The event continued in the Urban Council auditorium where journalist Aruna Selvathurai also delivered a lecture on the Vannyian king’s history.
A commemoration was also observed in Jaffna from 10.30 AM near the city clock tower where Pandara Vanniyan’s statue is located. Former Northern Provincial Council member M.K Shivajilingam attended the occasion offering flower garlands to the king’s statue.
T Ravikaran, another former Northern Provincial Council member, attended the commemoration event in Mullaitivu district where he offered the ceremonial flowers to the king’s statue.
August 25 has been marked as the victory day after his success against the British in seizing the Mullaitivu fort in 1803. The fort is currently under the administration of the government archaeology department. Sri Lanka’s archaeology department has been accused of willfully ignoring the decaying condition of the Dutch Fort of Mullaitivu, with locals stating they seen the fort fall into a state of disrepair in recent years.