Several armed Sri Lankan soldiers halted and questioned organisers of a travelling memorial dedicated to Lt Col Thileepan in Mannar earlier today.
The memorial, organised by the Tamil National People’s Front was halted by the military in Mannar, by the Madhu Road junction.
Several of the activists who were travelling with the memorial were subsequently questioned and threated by the Sri Lankan soldiers.
Events have been taking place across the Tamil homeland to mark 35 years since Thileepan’s hunger strike.
Thileepan began his fast on 15th September 1987, surrounded by over 100,000 supporters, and died 11 days later, on the 26th September 1987.
On the 13th September 1987, Thileepan put forward five demands to the Indian government:
1) All Tamils detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be released.
2) The colonisation by Sinhalese in Tamil areas under the guise of rehabilitation should be stopped.
3) All such rehabilitation should be stopped until an interim government is formed.
4) The Sri Lankan government should stop opening new Police stations and camps in the North-eastern province.
5) The Sri Lankan army and Police should withdraw from schools in Tamil villages and the weapons given by the Sri Lankan government to ‘homeguards’ should be withdrawn under the supervision of the Indian army.