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Sri Lanka’s security forces crackdown on Maaveerar Naal

A Tamil man looks out from his home as dozens of soldiers surround it.

Several arrests have taken place and homes have been raided across the North-East today, as the Sri Lankan military began a crackdown in the Tamil homeland, as Eelam Tamils around the world commemorate Maaveerar Naal.

Access to the destroyed cemeteries where tens of thousands of Tamil fighters were buried across the North-East has been blocked off by the Sri Lankan military, as a flurry of court orders last week banned commemorative events from taking place.

Though private events were allowed, the Sri Lankan security forces carried out several raids, arrests and were heavily deployed.  Locals who lit candles at their own homes are also reportedly being visited by the military and police and asked to report to the local police station. At least one family report that their commemoration setup was ransacked

Amongst those arrested is a Jaffna-based priest, who had set up for a remembrance event at the Bishop of Jaffna’s home. Another home in Mullaitivu was surrounded by dozens of soldiers, as a Tamil man tried to pay tribute to his brother. Meanwhile, the Jaffna office of the Tamil National People's Front was raided by Sri Lankan police as attempted to bar commemorations from taking place.

See more below.

Sri Lankan army arrests priests over Maaverar Naal

Sri Lankan soldiers surround Mullaitivu home as Maaveerar Naal commemorations take place

Sri Lankan army threatens Mullaitivu businesses closed on Maaveerar Naal

Sri Lankan police enter TNPF offices in Jaffna to stop Maaveerar Naal commemorations

Sri Lankan army’s Maaveerar Naal crackdown in Jaffna caught on CCTV

Also, see more photographs of troop deployment from across the North-East below.


In Point Pedro, households preparing to privately commemorate were visited by Sri Lankan military and police. Dozens of Sri Lankan troops and police turned up at a home in which two fallen fighters were being remembered. The family were photographed and threatened to take down the shrine to their fallen family members and the red and yellow house decorations.

Another family of a fallen fighter in Point Pedro was stopped by Sri Lankan military and police from lighting a lamp outside their home. The householder was threatened and photographed, and told to report to the local police station, and the family made to move their setup indoors.

Sri Lankan military vehicles blocked access to the Koppay Thuyilum Illam, where thousands of fallen cadres were buried.



Armed soldiers also stood guard around the Kanagapuram Thuyilum Ilam, which in recent years has seen thousands of people gather at to mark Maaveerar Naal.



Sri Lanka's police and military were seen concentrated in former LTTE cemeteries in Adampan and Akkattiveli, in the Mannar district.  

The security forces stated that they were there to prevent any disturbances. This follows an extension from Mannar Magistrate's Court of public commemorations.



In Iranaipalai, Mullaitivu, soliders and police have been deployed to prevent any commemorative events from taking place. 

There was also a heavy police presence outside Mulliyavali thuyil illam where Maaveerar Naal commemorations have taken place in recent years. 

This year, the Sri Lankan state have intensified their efforts to intimidate Tamils in the North-East by filing a series of court bans and ramping up the presence of it's secuirty forces. 



 Over the past 24 hours, there have also been more troops deployed in Puthukudiyiruppu, specifically in the town area.



In Vavuniya, additional armed police officers were deployed, including at the site where families of the disappeared have been protesting over their disappeared loved ones.

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