Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) parliamentarian Angajan Ramanathan paid tribute to Lt. Col. Thileepan this week, as he shared a video to mark 35 years since the LTTE political leader began his hunger strike.
In a post on Facebook, Ramanathan shared an artist’s sketch of Thileepan, as Tamils across the North-East held events to commemorate Thilpeean’s fast.
Ramanathan has spent several years with the SLFP and is a well-known Rajapaksa ally.
For years, the SLFP forbid commemoration events across the North-East, as Tamils attempted to mourn those killed by the Sri Lankan state.
In the last year alone, several Tamils have been arrested for posting photographs of the LTTE on social media.
This is not the first time that Ramanathan or the SLFP have attempted to garner Tamil support through displays of Tamil nationalism or seemingly showing support for the LTTE.
In 2020, a SLFP Jaffna candidate, Paranirupasingham Varatharajasingham, also known as Vinnan, assured that he will get justice for his party’s “direct involvement” in the “wiping out of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)” and “nullification of the [Tamil] freedom struggle” according to Tamil Newspaper Kalaikathir.
In 2018, the SLFP held an event to commemorate Tamils killed during the massacres at Mullivaikkal.
Earlier that same year, the SLFP office in Jaffna aired Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) songs at a campaign rally in a bid to win over Tamil voters.