The Sri Lankan government has denied its involvement in the destruction of the memorial at Jaffna University honouring the tens of thousands of lives lost in the Mullivaikkal massacre in 2009.
Cabinet co-spokesman Udaya Gammanpila said the government had not taken a “policy decision” on the matter and the responsibility lay with the University Grants Commission and university authorities. Chair of the University Grants Commission, Sampath Amaratunge, defended the decision last week, arguing that the monument threatened unity in the country. However Jaffna University Vice Chancellor S. Srisatkunarajah admitted that the decision had been taken as a result of pressure from the Sri Lankan government and military.
On Monday, construction was reportedly started on a new monument at Jaffna University to replace the destroyed one with the help of the Jaffna University Vice Chancellor S. Srisatkunarajah and university students after tensions grew in Jaffna. Scepticism remains since the Vice Chancellor stated that the new monument would be a 'peace monument'.