The 62nd birth anniversary of slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was on Saturday celebrated at a university in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-dominated Jaffna city. Hundreds of Jaffna University students, academic and non-academic staff gathered at the Kailasapathy Auditorium of the varsity to celebrate the birth anniversary by cutting cakes, official sources said.
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They also lit candles and planted saplings in memory of those who were killed during nearly three-decade long civil war which ended in May 2009. The birth anniversary was celebrated despite the Sri Lankan government’s warning that action would be taken against anyone trying to take part in the event, sources said.
Commemoration events were held both yesterday and today in Jaffna. The government had said although those killed in the war could be commemorated, the LTTE war dead should not be commemorated. During the LTTE years, the week from November 21 to 27 was celebrated as the Martyr’s week which also coincided with the Prabakaran’s birthday on November 26.
Prabhakaran was killed in 2009 by the Sri Lankan forces, ending decades of civil war in the country. According to the UN figures, up to 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed by security forces during former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime that brought an end to the war with the defeat of the LTTE in 2009.