Jaffna University VC promises rebuilding of destroyed Mullivaikkal memorial monument

The Jaffna University Vice Chancellor has given assurances that the destroyed Mullivaikkal memorial monument will be rebuilt “with proper approval” in its previous place and placed a foundation stone today morning, to symbolise that he has “accepted the demands” of the students. Vice Chancellor (VC), Sivakolundu Srisatkunarajah, met the students who were carrying out a hunger strike in front of Jaffna university, at 3am today and promised to start the process of rebuilding the Mullivaikkal memorial at its original location. He gave each of the students protesting a cup of Kanji (porridge) to...

Tamil Canadians rally against destruction of Mullivaikkal memorial

Tamil Canadians organized a socially distanced car rally, condemning the recent destruction of the Mullivaikkal monument at Jaffna University. The protestors took part in a car rally starting at Brampton City Hall with a final destination of Toronto City Hall in Queen’s Park. Organizers estimate spotting roughly 4000 cars protesting in solidarity with Jaffna University students against the destruction of the memorial which was built to commemorate the lives lost during the Tamil liberation struggle. In Jaffna, protests have recently grown, with one group of students choosing to embark on a...

In 'Sri Lanka's own interest' to meet the expectations of Tamils - Jaishankar

India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said it is “in Sri Lanka’s own interest that the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and dignity” are met, as he concluded a visit to the island last week. In Jaishankar’s address to a joint press conference with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, he went on to state “that applies equally to commitments made by the Sri Lankan government on meaningful devolution, including the 13th Amendment”. Jaishankar’s comments come after increasing demands from senior Ministers in Rajapaksa’s administration and members...

Sri Lankan minister slams Jaffna protests and vows no commemoration of 'dead terrorists'

Retired Rear Admiral and Minister of Public Security, Sarath Weerasekara has attacked Jaffna protesters claiming that no-one has a right to commemorate "dead terrorists". #JaffnaUniversity is not the exclusive domain or property of one community. It belongs to all law abiding #SriLanka (ns) alike None will & shud be allowed to commemorate dead #Terrorists of a proscribed org undr the guise of remembring innocent civilians & create disharmony! #lka https://t.co/eDPAXAFSOq pic.twitter.com/pikBXqqW6u — Sarath Weerasekera (@ReAdSarath) January 10, 2021 Weerasekara has a record of...

Resisting Erasure

A new wave of protest has erupted in the Tamil homeland as a monument dedicated to the tens of thousands massacred in Mullivaikkal was razed from the Jaffna University campus under the cover of night. Students and locals gathered outside the campus gates while Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) troops stood guard, blocking their entry and allowing the destruction to take place unhindered. Although many have been left reeling from the sheer cruelty of the destruction, this act is not one without precedent. In 2017, a priest and the community he served in Mullivaikkal were harassed exorbitantly by Sri Lankan police for a memorial campaign in which the names of genocide victims were carved into stones. Jaffna University itself was affected in the wholesale destruction of monuments to the Tamil liberation struggle, with the initial destruction of its own Maaveerar memorial, and constant obstruction of other memorial events. Dozens of LTTE cemeteries, which housed the graves of thousands of cadres, remain as mounds of rubble or have been paved over entirely. Since the advent of the ‘victor’s peace’ in 2009, Sinhala triumphalism has dictated who can be remembered, and how. While Tamil memorialisation, public or private, to combatants and civilians alike, has been criminalised, Sinhala war victory monuments dominate the landscape of the North-East, an ever-present reminder to Tamils of their trauma and oppression. There is not one government-constructed memorial to Tamil civilians on the island. Attempts to attribute the current destruction to a bureaucratic dispute, that it was built without permission, ring hollow when compared to the erection of Buddhist shrines and military structures in the Tamil homeland, with no consideration for legality, due process, or permits from locally elected authorities.

Sri Lanka’s development approach has ‘exacerbated existing inter-community tension’ and contributed to the conflict

Marking the 30 th anniversary of the UN Human Development Report, over a dozen human rights organisations have signed a joint statement calling on Sri Lanka to recentre its development approach, noting a history of development which has “exacerbated existing inter-community tensions” and contributed to ethnic conflict. In their statement, they note the historic failing of successive governments in Sri Lanka stating that “development has historically failed to be rights-based and instead has been erroneously understood as massive infrastructure development, which has not benefitted large...

‘Denial of a people’s right to memory’ - Jaffna University Students’ Union on Mullivaikkal monument destruction

The destruction of a monument constructed to commemorate the victims of the Mullivaikkal massacres is “an act of denial of a people’s right to memory” said the University of Jaffna Students’ Union, in a statement released this morning. “The Mullivaikkal destruction was the culmination of the genocide against the Tamil people,” read the statement this morning. “It is not simply a building made of stone or mud. Rather it is the abode of the emotions and the extension of memories of the students and the Tamil people as a whole.” “This act is an insult not only to the university students but also...

Eastern University Students Union demand reconstruction of Mullivaikal Memorial

The Students’ Union of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka has expressed its vehement condemnation of the demolition of the Mullivaikal memorial monument in Jaffna University, calling for the reconstruction of the demolished structure and demanded that symbols of Tamil identity be protected at universities. “In addition to emphasizing that the memorial monument be reconstructed in the same area, we demand that protection of symbols of Tamil identity be ensured at universities,” read a statement released this morning. It further noted that the destruction of the monument would plunge Tamils,...

SLMC and ACMC condemn Mullivaikkal monument destruction, call to join hartal

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) have condemned the demolition of the Mullivaikkal monument at the University of Jaffna, as protests continue demanding its reconstruction. The SLMC has pledged to join a hartal on Monday and requested its “supports in the north and east to join hands in solidarity with fellow Tamils”. Photograph courtesy JDS Lanka Former Minister and ACMC leader Rishad Bathiudeen, took to social media , “strongly condemning” the destruction of a Mullivaikkal monument at Jaffna university and also called for supporters...

TYO and UK Tamil societies join others in condemning the destruction of the Mullivaikkal memorial

Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO) and 24 UK Tamil university societies condemned the destruction of the Mullivaikkal memorial at the University of Jaffna and have called on the international community to take "meaningful actions" to hold Sri Lanka accountable. "Emboldened by the lack of a firm and strong international response in support of justice, the Sri Lankan state has currently intensified its structural genocide policies against the Tamil nation," a joint press release stated following the demolition of the Mullivaikkal monument on Friday evening.

Pages