Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Tamil nation marks Maaveerar Naal 2020

Tamils in the homeland braved Sri Lankan military intimidation and court orders to join others around the world and mark Maaveerar Naal on November 27, to remember and pay tribute to the Maaveerar who sacrificed their lives in the Tamil struggle for liberation.

Following a series of court ordered bans on public commemorations, Tamils across the North-East braved Sri Lankan military intimidation and held private memorials in their homes to pay their respects to the fallen. In their attempt to thwart Tamils from marking the day, Sri Lanka's security forces increased their deployment across the North-East, blocked access to thuyilum illams, carried out raids on homes where private commemorations were held and made some arrests. 

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

North-East

In the North-East, commemorations were forced to be held in private, or in secret, as the military enforced a crackdown with raids and arrests across the homeland. See more stories on the crackdown below.

Sri Lanka's security forces crackdown on Maaveerar Naal

 

Sri Lankan soldiers surround Mullaitivu home as Maaveerar Naal commemorations take place

 

Sri Lankan army arrests priests over Maaveerar Naal

 

Sri Lankan army threatens Mullaitivu businesses closed on Maaveerar Naal

 

 

Amidst the heightened security presence, Tamil families held small scale, private commemorations where they lit lamps and laid flowers in tribute to those who gave their lives for Tamil liberation. See stories and photographs from across the North-East below.

Tamils in the homeland hold private commemorations to mark Maaveerar Naal

Mullaitivu

 

Jaffna

 

Vavuniya 

 

Kilinochchi

 

Batticaloa

 

Politicians from all major Tamil parties also commemorated Maaveerar Naal across the homeland amidst the military crackdown. Diaspora Tamils gathered around the world to observe Maaveerar Naal, marking the day with private and virtual commemorations. 

Maaveerar Naal marked by Tamil politicians across the North-East 

 

Editorial - An unstoppable force

For the first time in decades there will be no mass gatherings across the world today, as Eelam Tamils commemorate Maaveerar Naal. In the Tamil homeland, the return of the Rajapaksas has plunged the North-East back into a familiar repression. Many will be marking the day in secret, fearing the threat of Sri Lankan military reprisals. Pandemic restrictions around the world have also meant that the well-established large scale events held by the diaspora have been moved to virtual spaces. This relative absence of public display, however, does not detract from the solemnity of this day. Instead, the will to overcome these obstacles and commemorate the sacrifices demonstrates the tenacity of the Tamil nation.

Read more here

Diaspora

Diaspora Tamils gathered around the world to observe Maaveerar Naal, marking the day with private and virtual commemorations. 

Diaspora Tamils mark Maaveerar Naal

British politicians mark Maaveerar Naal

UK

 

Germany

 

USA

 

 

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.