Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran called on the Sri Lankan authorities not to use coronavirus restrictions “as a ruse to stop people going to cemeteries where their loved ones are buried to pay homage,” ahead of Maaveerar Naal this week.
“I urge the government to act magnanimously and not use COVID-19 or anything else to prevent legitimate commemorations by family members & others,” Sumanthrian told parliament.
“Lockdowns and curfews are necessary at times like this, but it must be imposed under a proper legal regime. I call upon the government to stop acting for political expediency and act in the interests of the country.”
His call comes as Tamils across the North-East, and around the world, prepare to commemorate Maaveerar Naal this week. The day pays tribute to those who gave their lives in the Tamil liberation struggle.
Commemoration events by Eelam Tamils to remember their war dead have frequently faced intimidation and surveillance from Sri Lankan authorities.