Tamils across Europe have been marking the 11 day hunger strike by the LTTE’s Lt. Col. Thileepan in ceremonies at their homes, with many countries on the continent continuing to have tight restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As coronavirus infections begin to rise many governments have put restrictions on large gatherings in place. Tamil organisations across the continent however have called on the public to mark Thileepan’s sacrifice in their home or with socially distanced events.
“The pandemic has reminded us all how precious life is and highlighted the enormity of Thileepan’s protest,” said one London-based activist. “Even if we can’t all gather in larger groups as we did before, Thileepan’s spirit of resistance is alive in homes across the world.”
The commemorations in Europe take place as the Sri Lankan government continued to crackdown on remembrance events in the Tamil homeland, with arrests and police summons being used against Tamil activists.
Thileepan began his fast on 15th September 1987, surrounded by over 100,000 supporters, and died 11 days later, on the 26th September 1987. His death was mourned across the Tamil homeland at the time and continues to be marked by Eelam Tamils around the world.