Dozens of Sri Lankan soldiers surrounded a home in Mullaitivu this evening as a private Maaveerar Naal commemoration was taking place, in an act of intimidation amidst a military crackdown in the North-East.
Masked and uniformed soldiers were photographed outside the home of Peter Ilanchezhiyan, who had raised red and yellow flags and lit lamps to commemorate his brother, a cadre who was martyred in the armed struggle.
The military deployment took place as Sri Lankan courts in the North-East banned any public commemorative events for Maaveerar Naal and the military blocked access to cemeteries where tens of thousands of Tamil fighters were buried. Though the graves were destroyed by the security forces, Tamils in recent years have rebuilt some of the tombs from the rubble that they gathered.
Despite the court order allowing private commemorations, the military gathered outside the Mullaitivu home, with some soldiers taking photographs of the decorations and details of those who passed.