Reconstruction of a memorial that was destroyed by authorities last week has begun at the University of Jaffna this morning.
A banner has been hosted at the site of the demolished memorial, which reads ‘Mullivaikkal Ninaivu Mattram’ – or Mullivaikkal memorial monument.
Local politicians, including the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP S Sritharan visited the site this morning as construction work began.
The initial destruction, which took place last week, drew worldwide outrage, sparking protests and statements of condemnation.
University authorities claimed that orders to destroy the monument, which was constructed in remembrance of the tens and thousands of Tamils killed by the state in 2009, had come from government and military sources – a claim that the Sri Lankan government has since denied.
Amidst this growing tide of global pushback, the Vice Chancellor of Jaffna University made the surprise move on Monday morning of reaching out to the students, assuring them that the monument would be rebuilt, and laying down two foundation stones in a symbolic gesture.
Since the move however, Jaffna University students and staff and the wider Tamil community have expressed scepticism over promises to rebuild the destroyed Mullivaikkal monument on campus.