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Sri Lankan army ramp up surveillance ahead of Maaveerar Naal

The Sri Lankan army have intensified their presence in Jaffna as Maaveerar Naal approaches.

The military have been patrolling the roads, particularly the areas around Koppay Thuyilum Illam. Earlier this month, plainclothed military officers attempted to intimidate Tamils who were clearing the Thuyilum Illam by taking their photographs. 

Tamils are subjected to surveillance and intimidation in the occupied North-East but the Sri Lankan state's forces inflate their presence across the region during Tamil remembrance events. 

In 1995, Koppay Thuyilum Illam was destroyed by the Sri Lankan army but was later rebuilt by the LTTE during the 2002 ceasefire. Koppay Thuyilum Illam, where at least 2,000 LTTE cadres are reported to have been buried, was bulldozed over by the Sri Lankan state in 2010. Now, the Sri Lankan military's 51 Division base now stands on top of it.

Since the army have occupied the land, locals have held Maaveerar Naal commemoration events outside the camp. 

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