Sri Lankan soliders and police officers ramped up their presence at the Mullivaikkal memorial this afternoon as Tamils gathered to make preparations for May 18th, also known as 'Tamil Genocide Day'.
The state's forces cordoned off and circled the area while Tamils made arrangements for the remembrance event.
Tamils have been marching across the North-East as part of Mullivaikkal Remembrance Week, to commemorate the tens of thousands of Tamils who were massacred by the Sri Lankan state during the final days of the armed conflict. The rallies bgean yesterday and aim to arrive at the Mullivaikkal memorial on May 18th to pay tribute to the victims of the Tamil genocide.
Harassment and surveillance of Tamils organising or participating in memorialisation activities is common across the North-East. Last year, in the lead up to May 18, the Sri Lankan army vandalised the Mullivaikkal memorial monument while the police obtained ourt injunctions against 27 individuals, including two MPs, to prevent them from organising Mullivaikkal commemorations.