Sri Lankan Flag to be hoisted in Jaffna Fort
[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 October 2009, 04:42 GMT]
Son of Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapakse, who is presently staying in Jaffna along with the 250 youths he brought from the South will be officially hoisting the Sri Lanka Lion Flag Sunday in Jaffna Fort, sources in Jaffna said. In 1996 when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) occupied Jaffna, the then Deputy Defence Minister, Anurathe Rathwathe had ceremoniously hoisted the Sri Lankan Flag in the esplanade in front of Jaffna Fort. Tamils protested vehemently when Sinhala parties adopted the lion flag as the national flag soon after British left the island. Opposition to the flag, since then, has been part of the Tamil national movement.
Namal Rajapakse will officially open the newly built swimming pool in Jaffna Central College Sunday before taking part in flag hoisting ceremony in Jaffna Fort. 'The flag will be a permanent feature in Jaffna Fort,' SLA sources in Jaffna said.
The Lion flag hoisting ceremony takes place among claims by SLA in Jaffna that Jaffna Fort is to be renovated and made available to the public.
The Lion Flag of the Sri Lankan state is seen as a symbol of oppression by the Eezham Tamils. They rejected it long back for the explicit communal symbolism in it, pointing out that the lion in the flag, taken as a symbol of the Sinhala people according to their myths, holding a sword against 'minorities' represented by the colour stripes in the flag, was a deliberately designed insult to Tamils and Muslims.