Tamil political party members have signed a joined letter to Sri Lankan President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to appeal the ban on holding commemorative events for the late Lt Col Thileepan.
Members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil National People's Front (TNPF), Tamil Makkal Thesiya Kootani (TMTK) and People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) “submit this urgent appeal on the matter of both political and emotional significance to our people, namely, the prohibition imposed on their holding their annual commemorative events in paying homage to the Late Thileepan,” the letter stated.
The letter went on to highlight that Sri Lankan police have made a number of applications to various Magistrates Courts across the North East to block commemorative events from going ahead, forming part of a crackdown on remembrance across the North-East.
"We frankly state that we will be left with no alternative other than registering out disapproval and contamination in a peaceful and democratic manner in the even this issue remaining undersold," the letter concluded.
See the full letter below:
The signatories of the letter were: Mavai Senathirajah, (Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi - ITAK), G G Ponnambalam (TNPF leader), K. Premachandran (TMTK), N Srikantha (TMTK), Ananthy Sasitharan (TMTK), C V K Sivagnanam (ITAK), B Gajatheepan (PLOTE), S Sritharan (ITAK), S Kajendran (TNPF), M K Shivajilingam (TMTK) and T Sitparan (TMTK).
Last week, M K Shivajilingam, a former northern provincial council member, was arrested as he attempted pay tribute to Thileepan in Nallur. Security forces also reportedly destroyed arrangements made for the remembrance in the early hours of September 15, which marks the beginning of the week-long commemoration.
Thileepan’s hunger strike is commemorated by Eelam Tamils around the world, after he fasted to death in 1987, calling on the Indian government to accept key demands. He avoided consuming food or water for the next 11 days and became a martyr on September 26.