Maaveerar Naal a 'piercing emotional experience for me' - Australian senator

Speaking in the Australian senate on Tuesday, the senator for New South Wales, Lee Rhiannon, recalled her past experience of attending a remembrance event with the Tamil community on 27th November, and stressed that she stood by the Tamil people on this very important day. See here for full address, excerpt follows: " For Tamils all around the world, including in Sri Lanka, 27 November marks a very important and hauntingly sad day . In Tamil the day is known as Maaveerar Naal. Veerar means 'warrior' or 'hero'; Maa means 'great'; and Naal means 'day'. It is a day on which millions of Tamils will remember the hundreds and thousands of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children and the elderly who sacrificed their life in the 26-year-long struggle for their freedom . Last year on this day I joined around 2,000 Tamils in Sydney's west to pay respect to the courage, strength and sacrifice of the Tamil people. The overwhelming distress and pain of the Tamil community as they stood in line to lay down a flower in respect for the fallen was a piercing emotional experience for me . I am in parliament today so I will not be able to join the community, but I still stand beside them as their friend on this significant day .

Security forces attack youth in Jaffna

Students from Jaffna University have been attacked by Sri Lankan police and military after protests against the military’s harassment of Tamil youths on Tuesday. The peaceful demonstrations saw dozens of students rally outside the university, holding banners and shouting slogans. According to TamilNet , four students were arrested and AFP reported that at least 20 sustained injuries, after SL police and military attacked the protestors. Pictures published on TamilNet and some Sri Lankan media shows police beating students.

Malaysian parliamentary caucus opposed Rajapaksa's visit

A parliamentary caucus in Malaysia on abuse of human rights in Sri Lanka, opposed Mahinda Rajapaksa's planned visit to the country, reports the country's Daily Star media site, quoting the Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz as source. The minister also announced that the caucus, consisting of members from both sides of parliament, had been set up following great concerns regarding human rights abuses on the situation on the island, and would be monitoring progress on the UNHRC's resolution. Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said, “We will also send a letter to ask them what action has been taken thus far. We...

Salem villagers remember the heroes

Over 400 people from various villages in Salem, Tamil Nadu, held a candle-light vigil for Maveerar Naal in the village of Puliyoor, reports the Times of India. Marking a 21-year-old tradition, men, women and children gathered at the ‘Ponnammaan Memorial Bus Shelter’, holding candles and singing songs in praise of Eelam and the nation’s heroes. Mrs Kanagarathinam from nearby Mettur Dam who attended the event with her husband Mullaivendan said: "The (LTTE) cadres fought for the rights and died for the Sri Lankan Tamils. We salute them for their sacrifice."

Remembering sacrifice

Today, the 27th November, in every corner of the world, Eelam Tamils join together in an act of remembrance. From a Gloriosa lily proudly affixed onto a coat lapel, to the collective events of remembrance held in capitals worldwide, to the daring posters reported in the North-East, today the nation remembers. For the Eelam nation, there are of course many days of national remembrance and reflection across the year. After all, it should come as no surprise that a nation ravaged by persecution, genocide and armed conflict, is in a state of frequent grief and mourning. Yet today - Maaveerar Naal - is set apart from all other occasions. It remembers not the finality of death, but the solemnity of sacrifice.

Tamils defiant as SL state attempts to quash remembrance

The Sri Lankan military has been increasing its brutal quashing of all remembrance acts in the North-East according to several reports. Following on from reports of remembrance posters being taken down by the military in the North-East, the Daily Mirror reports that five people have been arrested in Akkaraipatuwa, in connection with the posters. TamilNet reports on attempts to intimidate and suppress acts of remembrance across the North-East, including the widespread deployment of the military and navy to threaten Tamils into submission.

Security forces engulf Jaffna University

Jaffna University is experiencing a disproportionately high presence of security forces today as troops and police flocked to the campus to prevent any commemoration of Remembrance Day. The forces extended their presence as far as the male's hostel as well as interrogating passers-by in the vicinity surrounding the campus. There have also been reports of unidentified motorcyclists threatening students at gunpoint to refrain from commemorating the day.

Armed intelligence officers roam Jaffna Uni campus

According to Jaffna-based newspaper Uthayan, pistol carrying intelligence officers from the Sri Lankan army have increased their presence in Jaffna university. The paper reported that students were threatened with pistols and warned against partaking in events to commemorate National Heroes Day. On Monday evening students at Jaffna University reportedly posted several posters commemorating National Remembrance day which were taken down by military personnel immediately. See the report from Uthayan here .

Thousands of British Tamils remember the nation's Maaveerar

Updated 22 : 10 GMT Tens of thousands of Tamils poured into the Excel centre today, to mark the Maaveerar Naal - the Eelam's national day of remembrance - and honour those who died for in the struggle for freedom. Decorated in the nation's colours of red and yellow, the venue had a replica Thuyilum Illam in front of the stage, with a wall of photographs of Maaveerar along either side. A trio of life size tombstones with a flame flying in the centre, was ceremoniously draped with the national flag. At the back, a huge revolving column mosaiced with the faces of the nation's Maaveerar was...

Military storm Jaffna uni hostels, students attacked

Photographs Uthayan The Sri Lankan military and intelligence personnel raided the Balasingham hostel and Ananthakumaraswamy hostel at Jaffna university, after students lit a lamp of sacrifice to commemorate Maaveerar Naal, reports Uthayan. According to the newspaper, the military had been roaming the university through out the day since students celebrated the birthday of V. Prabhakaran on Monday. At 6:05pm, as the students lit the lamp of sacrifice, military personnel, armed with guns and batons stormed the two boys' hostels attacked everyone they came across.

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