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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. 


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











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 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








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