Tamils in Jaffna commemorate Maaveerar Naal

Commemorations have been taking place across Jaffna as the Tamil nation marks the 36th Maaveerar Naal.

Former Northern Provincial Council member N Shivajilingham and mother of Captain Pandithar lit a flame at the native home of Lt Shankar, the first LTTE cadre to sacrifice their life in the liberation struggle.

Shivajilingham also lit a flame outside Koppay Thuyilum Illam, an LTTE cemetery, which is currently occupied by the Sri Lankan Army’s 51 Division.

In 1995, Koppay Thuyilum Illam was destroyed by the Sri Lankan army but was later rebuilt by the LTTE during the 2002 ceasefire. Koppay Thuyilum Illam, where at least 2,000 LTTE cadres are reported to have been buried, was bulldozed over by the Sri Lankan state in 2010. Now, the Sri Lankan military’s 51 Division base now stands on top of it.

Captain Pandithar’s mother also lit a flame at Revady beach, Valvettithurai, in honour of the Sea Tigers, the LTTE’s naval wing.

Lt Col Thileepan, a political wing leader of the LTTE, was honoured at his memorial in Nallur, Jaffna. In September 1987, Thileepan fasted to death in a protest appealing to the Indian government to honour pledges made to the Tamil people.

Tamils gathered outside Kodikamam Thuyilum Illam, where the Sri Lankan military’s 522nd Brigade headquarters is now based.

University of Jaffna students erected an arch outside their campus to mark the day.

A lamp was lit outside Nelliyadi Central College in memory of Captain Miller, or Vallipuram Vasanthan, the first Black Tiger to sacrifice their life.

As well as a banner marking the day, posters were displayed at the roundabout in front of Jaffna Hindu College.

The posters read: “The legacy of our heroes’ sacrifice should not be wasted. So wake up young generation .. wake up from drugs and violence, and use the weapon of knowledge.”