Tamils in Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged northern and eastern provinces are today observing the eigth anniversary of the end of the three-decade brutal civil war in the country in 2009. The Tamil Genocide Remembrance day will be marked by various events at Mullivaikkal, the location of the final battle between the Lankan troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Amongst those taking part in the Remembrance are hardline northern Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran along with Tamil Peoples’ Council (TPC), Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF), Tamil civil society, political parties of former Tamil militants and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians.
Wigneswaran has called for a three-minute silence to remember those who died during the civil war and asked overseas Tamils to observe the commemoration.
The Tamils want to press for an international investigation on the victims of the final battle, he said in a letter addressed to the Tamil diaspora.
S J Emmanuel, President of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a Tamil diaspora group, has appealed to observe the Mullivaikkaal commemoration in peaceful prayers.
Tamil nationalists had organised a series of memorial events starting from May 12 for seven days.
The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has condemned an attempt to ban commemorations of the dead by Tamil families in Mullivaikkal.
ITJP said a court order in Tamil from the District Judge and Magistrate of Mullaitivu has placed a 14-day ban from this evening on all ceremonies near the Catholic Church in Mullivaikkal East, on the grounds that they may adversely affect “the country’s integrity, national security and the peace of the nation”.
The LTTE’s 30-year separatist campaign ended on May 18, 2009 in the northeastern Mullaithivu district when Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the LTTE, was killed by Lankan troops.
According to UN figures, up to 40,000 civilians were killed by security forces during former president Mahinda Rajapaksas regime that brought an end to the conflict with the defeat of LTTE in 2009.