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Sri Lankan court bans Maaveerar Naal commemorations in Vavuniya

File photo: Sri Lankan Military intimidate Tamils who were preparing to mark Maaveerar Naal in 2018.

A court in Vavuniya has banned 8 Tamil civil society members from attending commemorations events for Maaveerar Naal, following a request from Sri Lankan security forces.

The banning restricts the individuals from attending events between the 20-29 of November after an injunction seeking the banning was filed by the Vavuniya Chief of Police. Former MPs Sivashakthi Anandan and S.Sivamohan, Secretary of the Vavuniya families of the disappeared K.Rajkumar, former provincial councillors P.Sathiyalingham, Kayendrakumar,  S.Thavapalsingam and S. Aravindan are some of the individuals listed on the court order. 

The court order states the named individuals must stop any commemorative activities related to Maaveerar Naal between the 20 and 29 and have been told to appear in court on the 6 of December. 

Maaveerar Naal is held each year on 27 November, the date on which the first LTTE cadre, Lt. Shankar was martyred in 1982. In previous years the event was marked with large scale ceremonies held in cemeteries (Thuyilum Illam or Resting Places) that were built across the North-East, housing thousands of fallen fighters.

Since a 2009 Sri Lankan military offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamils and its subsequent occupation, the cemeteries have all been destroyed and public events were clamped down on by the security forces. In 2017 and 2018 Tamils defied state intimidation which persisted despite a relative easing of securitisation of such remembrance events to held larger scale ceremonies. Recent years however, have seen a renewed crackdown.

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