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Remembering Lieutenant Shankar - The first Maaveerar

A memorial to Lieutenant Shankar, the first fighter from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to lose his life in the armed struggle, was renovated and freshly unveiled this week, ahead of the anniversary of his death on Monday.

Tamil youth in Jaffna set out to repaint and clean the memorial to Shankar, after it had been destroyed by the Sri Lankan state. The renovated memorial in Kamparmalai, Valvettithurai, was unveiled earlier this week.

The monument in July 2016, after it was defaced by the Sri Lankan military.

Lieutenant Shankar

In November 1982, the Sri Lankan security forces sought to capture Shankar in Jaffna. Though he was surrounded, Shankar managed to escape but with serious gunshot injuries.

Badly wounded, he was taken to Tamil Nadu in India for medical treatment via a risky boat journey across the Palk Strait. LTTE leader Prabhakaran was being detained in Tamil Nadu under house arrest at the time.

With a lack of available medical treatment at the time however, Shankar’s condition continued to deteriorate. His final words would be to Prabhakaran, affectionately calling him “thambi” or younger brother.

Lieutenant Shankar died at 6.05pm, on November 27, 1982. He was the first LTTE cadre to be killed. His remains were cremated at the Keeraththurai Crematorium in Madurai.

Listen to Prabhakaran recount Shankar’s final moments below.

Every year, Tamils across the homeland and around the world light lamps on November 27, at 6.05 pm, the exact time of Shankar’s death to commemorate him and every other fighter who laid down their lives for the liberation of Tamil Eelam.

Selvachandran Sinnathurai, father of the first Maaveerar, Lt. Shankar, commemorated Maaveerar Naal in London last year.

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