Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Tamil nation marks Maaveerar Naal 2018

Aalankulam Thuyilum Illam, Trincomalee 

Thousands of Eelam Tamils worldwide commemorated Maaveerar Naal on November 27, coming together to remember and pay tribute to the Maaveerar - those who gave their lives for the struggle for liberation. 

Thousands attend Maaveerar Naal commemorations at Kanagapuram Thuyilum Illam, in Kilinochchi [read more here]


Across the North-East, Tamils gathered at Thuyilum Illams (LTTE cemetries or resting homes) and memorials to light lamps and lay flowers. Families of the Maaveerar made personal tributes to their loved ones, bringing photographs and serving their favourite food. 

Commemorations this year took place amid Tamil concern over the return of the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who oversaw the mass atrocities of 2009, to the political stage. In Kudaththanai, in Vadamaradchi, residents were warned not to attend commemorations as 'Mahinda has returned'. [Read more here.]

Despite the passing of almost a decade since the end of the armed conflict, Maaveerar Naal commemorations and preparations took place under the watchful eyes of military personnel who remain deployed across the North-East. 

State security personnel forced Tamils gathered at Kandalady LTTE cemetery in Vakarai, Batticaloa to remove the new headstones that had been planted in recent days, to replace the original headstones destroyed by the Sri Lankan military. [Read more here.]

Police officers also disrupted attempts to commemorate Maaveerar Naal in Munai, Point Pedro, tearing down flags and threatening those in attendance. [Read more here.]

In the weeks leading up to Maaveerar Naal, local residents, former LTTE cadre and families of the Maaveerar cleared and renovated the Thuyilum Illams (LTTE cemetries or resting homes), which were destroyed by the Sri Lankan military, in preparation of the event.  

Armed soldiers stationed in watch tower observe locals preparing for Maaveerar Naal at Mulliyawalai Thuyilum Illam, Mullaitivu 

The heightened security presence did not dissuade Tamils from commemorating however. Small acts of unorganised resistance were seen across the North-East in a powerful message of defiance against the military's continued occupation in the Tamil homeland. 

Hand painted Tamil Eelam flag hoisted in outside a school in Puthukudiyiruppu. [Read more here.]

University of Jaffna

Maaveerar Naal - or Great Heroes Day - remembers those who sacrificed their lives in the Tamil struggle for freedom, and is marked on November 27 yearly, in memory of the first death of a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadre in fighting -  Lt. Shankar died in combat on November 27, 1982.


Editorial: Crisis at Sri Lanka's core

Almost four years into the ‘good governance’ government, Sri Lanka’s image of stability and progress unravelled last month in a day. President Sirisena’s sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa followed by the dissolving of parliament and call for fresh elections, ended any semblance of stability. Revealed instead was disregard for the country’s constitution and rule of law, bribery, violence and an entrenched racism which habitually blames Tamils for the state’s woes. Sri Lanka’s latest descent into turmoil highlights once again the simmering crisis of unresolved ethnic conflict that remains at the island’s core.

[Read more here]




Thousands attend Maaveerar Naal commemorations at Kanagapuram Thuyilum Illam

Maaveerar Naal commemorated across Kilinochchi

Thousands commemorate Maaveerar Naal across Batticaloa

Eastern University's institute commemorates Maaveerar Naal

Maaveerar Naal commemorated at Eastern University

Police force removal of memorial headstones at Vakarai LTTE cemetery

Maaveerar Naal commorated by thousands across Jaffna 

Traditional Maaveerar Naal commemorations at Jaffna University

ITAK marks Maaveerar Naal in Jaffna

Valvettithurai commemorates its dead

Sea Tigers remembered in open sea ceremony

Police block commemoration in Point Pedro

Villagers told not to attend Maaveerar Naal as 'Mahinda has returned'

Maaveerar Naal held at Uduththurai Thuyilum Illam

Heavy police presence as Maaveerar Naal commemorated in Koppay

Maaveerar Naal commemorated at Koppay despite police intimidation

Jaffna University commemorates Maaveerar Naal

Maaveerar Naal commemorated at Thileepan Memorial in Jaffna 

Vali East Pradesiya Sabai marks Maaveerar Naal


Maaveerar Naal held at all Thuyilum Illams in Mullaitivu

Hand painted Tamil Eelam flag hoisted in Puthukudiyiruppu



Maaveerar Naal commemorated in Trincomalee


Maaveerar Naal marked at thuyilum illams across Mannar

Maaveerar Naal at Mannar Pandivirichaan thuyilum illam



Maaveerar Naal commemorated in Amparai at LTTE cemetery


Maaveerar Naal commemorated in Vavuniya




Thousands across Europe mark Maaveerar Naal

British Tamils commemorate Maaveerar Naal in London

Swiss Tamils commemorate Maaveerar Naal

British Tamil students mark Youth Maaveerar Naal

Students in Berlin mark Maaveerar Naal with awareness exhibition

Danish students pay tribute to Maaveerar

North America

Canadian Tamils gather in their thousands on Maaveerar Naal

Maaveerar Naal events held across the USA


Tamils in Australia and New Zealand commemorate Maaveerar Naal



Thousands mark Maaveerar Naal across Tamil Nadu

Maaveerar Naal commemorated in Malaysia



Maaveerar families honoured in North-East

Maaveerar families honoured in Kilinochchi

Parents of Maaveerar honoured in Batticaloa

Families of Maaveerar honoured by TNPF in Jaffna


Tamil nation prepares for Maaveerar Naal 

In the run up to Maaveerar Naal, cemeteries called Thuyilum Illam - or resting place - were renovated by volunteers across the North-East. Destroyed fragments of tombstones were gathered and red and yellow flags were raised, as part of efforts to mark the day.

Jaffna University students make final preparations for Maaveerar Naal

Final preparations for Maaveerar Naal at Thuyilum Illams across Tamil homeland

Vavuniya North plant trees in memory of fallen LTTE fighters

Jaffna University prepares for Maaveerar Naal

Uduthurai Thuyilum Illam prepared for Maaveerar Naal

Final preparations underway at Trincomalee Thuyilum Illam

Kanchikudiyaru thuyilum illam cleared ahead of Maaveerar Naal

Final preparations at Mulankavil Thuyilum Illam

Thuyilum illam clearing continues in Alampil under military control

Kilinochchi's major LTTE cemetery cleared for Maaveerar Naal

Clearing of LTTE cemeteries continues across North-East

Thuyilum Illam clearing in Batticaloa

Destroyed Amparai LTTE cemetery cleared for Maaveerar Naal

Clearing of LTTE cemeteries begins in preparation for Maaveerar Naal


We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.