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Remembering Annai Poopathy

Image courtesy of @saygi

Today marks 33 years since the death of Annai Poopathy, a Tamil woman who fasted unto death in protest against the atrocities committed by Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF).

As a member of the Navatkerny Mother's Front, Poopathy Kanapathipillai from Batticaloa, commenced a fast unto death on March 19, 1988 to protest the injustices and atrocities committed by the IPKF.

She had called for an immediate ceasefire and peace talks between the IPKF and the LTTE.

Her fast ended on April 19 with her death.

Remembrance to Annai Poopathi in 2006

"Annai Poopathy has made an indelible mark in the golden history of our struggle," the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Velupillai Prabhakaran said in 2004. "She sacrificed her life for the freedom struggle of her people renouncing her life as a mother, as head of a household and as a woman. Her moral war against the Indian army was an embarrasment to India. She did not die as a human being. Her sacrifice symbolized the uprising of Tamil Eelam motherhood."

Annai Poopathi's 28 year old son was shot dead by the Sri Lankan army and another son randomly shot dead by the Special Task Force. Another son, arrested during round up operations, was held in Boosa army camp and subjected to severe torture.

Her sacrifice continues to be commemorated by Eelam Tamils across the globe.

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