Cover art by Sindu S Hundreds of Tamils and non-Tamil allies took to Instagram yesterday to assert their determination to mark Maaveerar Naal and to remember the fallen fighters of the Tamil liberation struggle despite many contemporary obstacles such as censorship, the global pandemic and state crackdowns against memorialisation in the Tamil homeland. View this post on Instagram A post shared by TEEJAY (@teejayarunasalam) British Tamil musician and Kollywood actor Teejay Arunasalam The campaign, in which individuals posted photos of themselves with a raised palm accompanied by the hashtag #...
Tamils in the homeland braved Sri Lankan military intimidation and court orders to join others around the world and mark Maaveerar Naal on November 27, to remember and pay tribute to the Maaveerar who sacrificed their lives in the Tamil struggle for liberation.
Parliamentarians and government ministers from the Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour party across the UK marked Maaveerar Naal with messages of tributes and solidarity to the Tamil community in the UK and in the Tamil homeland for those who sacrificed their lives in the Tamil struggle for freedom. Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey, Minister and Conservatives MP Paul Scully and Labour Siobhain McDonagh were among the politicians to send messages this year.
Diaspora Tamils gathered across the world to observe Maaveerar Naal and pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in the Tamil struggle for freedom. See events from around the world below. British Tamils commemorate Maaveerar Naal Maaveerar Naal commemorated in Germany US Tamils mark Maaveerar Naal cross country
Several arrests have taken place and homes have been raided across the North-East today, as the Sri Lankan military began a crackdown in the Tamil homeland, as Eelam Tamils around the world commemorate Maaveerar Naal. Access to the destroyed cemeteries where tens of thousands of Tamil fighters were buried across the North-East has been blocked off by the Sri Lankan military, as a flurry of court orders last week banned commemorative events from taking place. Though private events were allowed, the Sri Lankan security forces carried out several raids, arrests and were heavily deployed. Amongst those arrested is a Jaffna-based priest, who had set up for a remembrance event at the Bishop of Jaffna’s home.
Retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara and long time supporter of the Rajapaksas, was recently sworn in as the new Minister of Public Security, according to President’s Media Division. Earlier this year, Weerasekara pledged to strip the 13th Amendement of clauses that would be crucial to establishing local control and provincial councils. Previously, Weerasekara has said NGOs and civil society activists should be charged with treason and sentenced to death, called for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to be banned and rallied against the Sri Lankan national anthem being sung in Tamil...
A Karthigaipoo, the national flower of Tamil Eelam, was projected on to Britain's Houses of Parliament in Westminster, Central London tonight, as British Tamils paid tribute to those who gave their lives in the Tamil liberation struggle amidst restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The projection lit up the Houses of Parliament with an image of the flower and the words “We Remember” and "We remember the heroes who fought for freedom from Sri Lankan state genocide".
US Congressmen Brad Sherman and Jamie Raskin introduced a House Resolution calling for an end to enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka, across Asia and around the world and also calls upon the United States to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The resolution highlights that "Tamil families of the disappeared have demonstrated tremendous courage in conducting continuing protests, lasting over 1,300 days to demand answers from the Sri Lankan state, despite being met with threats, intimidation, and harrassment by state security forces." It also noted that Sri Lanka has "promoted high-ranking military officials suspected of forcibly disappearing persons and bearing responsibility for war crimes, incuding Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, and has failed to hold accountable other current military officials accused of war crimes."
The Sri Lankan state has intensified its crackdown on commemorations of Maaveerar Naal, the Tamil national remembrance day for fallen LTTE fighters, with police obtaining court injunctions against commemorations in several districts and both police and Sri Lankan army setting up roadblocks and checkpoints around LTTE cemeteries. The Jaffna High Court on Friday rejected petitions against a number of injunctions, with the judge ruling that the court had no jurisdiction to issue such an order. The court however further stated that no one can prevent the petitioners from commemorating individually, but that collective commemoration was a matter related to national security.
Local Tamils have expressed concern and outrage after an area previously known as Kachchal Samalankulam in Vavuniya has become ‘Sinhalised’ and has had its name changed to Sapumalgaskada and a signboard labelled ‘Sapumalgaskada Archaeological Site’ was put up in the area, last week. The Sinhalisation adds to the expansion of colonisation across the North-East of Tamil areas, where Tamil names have been erased and converted to Sinhala names, and Tamil areas are becoming occupied by Sinhala settlers with the support of Sri Lankan military and government officials.