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Tamils raise black flags in protest on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day

Tamils across the North-East held rallies and protests today demanding justice for the disappeared and for perpetrators of abuses to be held accountable, as Sri Lanka marked its 72 Independence Day.

See a selection of photographs from events in the North-East and diaspora below.


In Kilinochchi, families of the disappeared waved black flags in a rally along the A9 which runs through the town.

Tamils protest in Kilinochchi as families of disappeared mark ‘Independence Day’



Students at the University of Jaffna were refused access to the campus this morning, after they expressed support for protests taking place across the North-East. Despite being refused entry, they hoisted banners and black flags along the campus gates. Security guards later came and removed them all.

Black flags raised across Jaffna University to mark Sri Lankan Independence Day

Students refused entry to Jaffna University after support for Independence Day protests



Families of the disappeared marched through Batticaloa today, alongside other relatives searching for their loved ones from across the Eastern Province. They demanded an international mechanism to account for those who were forcibly disappeared and for Sri Lankan to be referred to the International Criminal Court.




Tamil families of the disappeared in Trincomalee raised black flags this morning, as they continued their protest demanding international investigations into the whereabouts of their forcibly disappeared loved ones.

Black flags in Trincomalee as protestors mark Sri Lanka’s Independence Day