Tamils across the homeland gathered at the Mullivaikkal memorial today 10 years since the end of the armed conflict to remember the killing of tens of thousands by Sri Lankan armed forces.
Marking the day as Tamil Genocide Day, families of victims, locals and Tamils from across the North-East lit torches, lay flowers and planted coconut trees in memory of those killed.
The remembrance, just days after Easter Sunday bombings, was palpably tense compared to last years, taking place amid a heightened security presence, with a large number of police officers and military check points registering people entering and leaving the site.
A new check point and increased security were also established at the key gateway from Jaffna district to the Vanni, Elephant Pass. All vehicles travelling through were stopped and passengers searched.
"I wanted to go," said Gowri, a mother of 3 in Kilinochchi told Tamil Guardian. "But I heard the army is taking our names when we enter Mullivaikkal. I'm too scared. They the military] are busy with the Muslims now, but they will come back for us later."
Several Tamil politicians also attended the event, along side religious leaders.
TNA MP Selvam Adaikalanathan
TNPF leader, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam
Former Northern Province's Chief Minister, C V Wigneswaran
Former Northern Provincial Councillor, Ananthy Sasitharan
As a mark of respect, Tamil shops in Mullaitivu remained shut through the duration of the event.