The original monument unveiled in 2019
The reconstructed Mullivaikkal memorial monument, located at the University of Jaffna, is set to be unveiled on Friday, April 23, after it was destroyed by Sri Lankan authorities earlier this year.
On January 8, a monument dedicated to the tens of thousands of Tamils killed in the genocidal offensive at the end of the armed conflict in 2009, was bulldozed by authorities, sparking outrage across the North-East and around the world. Jaffna University students launched a hunger strike in protest against the destruction and a hartal shut down the North-East.
University students said that the memorial will be unveiled by the university's Vice Chancellor S. Srisatkunarajah, who initially slammed the protesters and threatened that if protesters continued with their demonstration, they would be "dealt with." The Vice-Chancellor claimed that the orders for the demolition came from "higher authorities" including Sri Lanka's defence, intelligence and education ministry.
Following the global outrage, the Vice Chancellor promised to reconstruct the memorial and work began on January 15, with the Vice Chancellor laying the foundation stone.
The monument was originally unveiled in 2019, marking the tenth anniversary of the Mullivaikkal massacre that took place in May 2009 where tens of thousands of Tamils were killed by the Sri Lankan state. The monument was designed and constructed by students, many of whom survived the Mullivaikkal genocide and had lost family to the massacres of 2009.