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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2424

Mahaveer Naal celebrated without any major incidents in the North

By K.T.Rajasingham
Jaffna, 28 November, (

Enthusiasm gripped, Tamils in the North and East were in a position to celebrate the Maveerar – Martyrs day undeterred without any harassment or interference’s by the Sri Lankan Police and security forces.

Though LTTE is a banned organization, Government has not taken any action to rein in those celebrating the 63rd birthday of Prabhakaran, as well as the Mahaveer celebration especially in the North.

Police, as well as the security forces have openly declared that there was no direction from the government regarding heroes’ day and they were simply observant.

Almost all the former LTTE’s cemeteries are decorated with red & yellow flags. Several discarded and destructed cemeteries were renovated by the people with vigor and interest.

The only sour point was Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe’s directive to stop constructing the parapet wall around the Kanagapuram cemetery in Kilinochchi.

Already it has been reported that TNA MP S. Sridharan had allocated Rs.4 million out of his decentralized budget to renovate the ‘Mahaviru Mausoleum’, where bodies of dead LTTE members buried in Kanakapuram in Kilinochchi and approval for the allocation of funds was granted by both Karachchi and Kilinochchi Divisional Secretariat.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe wanted to know whether the construction of the parapet wall around the Kanagapuram cemetery is done making use of the Kilinochchi TNA Parliamentarian’s decentralized budget allocation.

The first Maaveerar Naal was held on 27 November 1989. The date was chosen as it was the anniversary of the first LTTE cadre to die in combat, Lt. Shankar (Sathiyanathan alias Suresh), who died on 27 November 1982.

Following the end of the civil war in May 2009 the Sri Lankan government and its security forces have clamped down on any attempt at commemorating Maaveerar Naal and destroyed the remaining LTTE cemeteries.

All Maaveerar Naal commemorations have been banned. Critics of the ban argue that the Sri Lankan government is denying the Tamil people the basic human right to mourn their dead.

The ban on commemorations has been criticized by the TNA, the main political party representing Sri Lankan Tamils, who point out that the commemoration of the LTTE dead is banned, however that of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s (JVP) dead is allowed. The JVP waged two violent insurrections against the Sri Lankan government - in 1971 and 1987-89 - which resulted in the death of up to 70,000 people.

In 2016 the Government Minister Mano Ganesan claimed that Maaveerar Naal can be celebrated as it is a human right for people to celebrate their late loved ones, but it was wrong to do it with a political motive.

He cited that the marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna also celebrate ‘Maha Viru Samaruwed’ in the South to commemorate their dead.

However due to the fact that the LTTE is still a proscribed organization, but JVP is no longer considered a terrorist organization.

According to the tradition adopted by LTTE leader Prabhakaran, the lighting of the traditional oil lamp was held almost in all over the North at 6.05 PM
er speech on the LTTE's annual policy on November 27. And that was considered a very important event those days.

Another incident that created a little sensation was the LTTE graveyard at Kopay. This was under the control of Sri Lankan Army. As such, people in the area decorated both sides of Raja Veethy to celebrate the Maveerar Naal.

It was reported that when people started celebrating, several Army Inteligence personnel in civil were seen taking photographs and videos. This action of the army Inteligence personnel said to have created an unwanted stir for some time. Though Inteligence officers were seen photographing and videographing, it is said that everything went on smoothly.

- Asian Tribune -

At the Jaffna University campus
Jaffna University students paying homage to their fallen  heroes
Mahaveer Naal celebrated without any major incidents in the North
Jaffna campus tastefully decorated
diconary view
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